S Sreesanth is desperate to play cricket and a life ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and upheld by Kerala High Court is stopping him from making a comeback.
So, he has come out and threatened to “play from other country”.
In an interview to a TV channel, Sreesanth, who was banned for his alleged involvement in IPL spot-fixing scandal, said that “BCCI is a private firm and he has the freedom to play cricket for any other country”. However, the BCCI said that a cricketer banned by one board cannot play for another.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Dubai, Sreesanth said, “BCCI has imposed the ban, not ICC. If not India, I can play for any other country, because am 34 now and I can only play for maximum six more years.
“BCCI is a private firm; it is only us who say that this is the Indian team, but you know BCCI is a private body after all. So, if I play for any other country, it probably may be the same. Yes, representing Kerala in Ranji Trophy is different. I had hoped to win Ranji Trophy, Irani for Kerala, but the decision rests up on the BCCI,” Sreesanth spoke on the sidelines of a public event in Dubai.
The mercurial pacer tried to create a sensation but it has backfired with BCCI and ICC officials laughing over such a plan. “No banned player, unless duly cleared by his parent board, can take part in any official cricket activity from any other country,” BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary told DNA on Friday.
The BCCI acting secretary added that all this is just empty talk and that the board is aware of their legal position.
Choudhary’s views were also endorsed by an official of ICC. “Cricket is a gentleman’s game and one must understand that integrity of the game is of utmost importance to us. If BCCI or any other country has banned a particular player for wrongdoing then he or she is not allowed to step into the ground. ICC position is clear on this issue,” reacted the ICC official.
This means that Sreesanth’s career is over for now and except for certain private run cricket leagues around the world which are not authorised by ICC or any member country, he will not even be allowed to step inside the ground.
BCCI has banned Sreesanth for life on allegations of spot-fixing during an Indian Premier League match in 2013. His ban was lifted by a single bench of the Kerala HC on September 18, but BCCI appealed against this judgement and chief justice-led HC bench upheld Board’s ban saying that “there is no violation of natural justice against the cricketer”.
DNA has learnt that Sreesanth did make any attempt in the past to play in the Scottish League, but BCCI refused to give any kind of permission that is required by ICC administered bodies.
“He is living in fool’s paradise and that’s all I can say for now,” said a former BCCI official who was there when Kerala cricketer was found cheating in 2013.