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Indian cricketer S Sreesanth was part of India's two World Cup-winning squads, lifting the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011. S Sreesanth was also part of the Indian Test team, which rose to the top of the Test rankings in 2009. S Sreesanth has had his share of success as he gave several match-winning performances in his career, which got shortened courtesy BCCI's lifetime ban on him after the IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
The Sreesanth cricket ban was eventually reduced. The right-arm pacer is all set to make a return to professional cricket now. However, there are several fans who still wonder - Why was Sreesanth banned from cricket?
In 2013, Sreesanth was allegedly involved in the IPL spot-fixing scandal where he was arrested by Delhi Police along with fellow Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan. Sreesanth was accused of spot-fixing during the seventh season of the IPL but he was relieved of all the charges due to lack of evidence. In fact, the reason believed to be behind why was Sreesanth banned also saw him sent to Tihar jail. However, the BCCI had refused lifting the life ban on him due to which the Kerala pacer was not able to take part in any kind of competitive cricket.
Sreesanth challenged BCCI's decision in the higher courts on several occasions but to in vain. In fact, the BCCI had told the apex court in February 2019 that the life ban imposed on him was fully viable in law as he had tried to influence a match. Sreesanth's lawyer on the other hand stated that spot-fixing didn’t place in the IPL game and there was no substantial evidence against the former Rajasthan Royals pacer.
In April 2020, the bench of justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph had said that the BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain would reconsider the length of Sreesanth’s punishment within three months. Jain passed an order on August 7, which reduced the Sreesanth ban to seven years stating that the suspension would meet ends of justice. The Sreesanth ban was lifted on September 13, 2020.
Match-fixing and spot-fixing are often mistaken to be the same. A lot of fans keep wondering as to - What is spot-fixing? As opposed to match-fixing where the entire result of the game is fixed, spot-fixing means deciding the result of a certain aspect in the game, even a single delivery or how many runs a batsman will score off a particular delivery or an over. Spot-fixing can even be focused on how many runs a particular batsman will score, a bowler will concede or when and how many no-balls a bowler would bowl etc. It is a mutually-agreed arrangement between a player and a bookmaker whereby the player has to perform on the field as guided by the bookmaker and the player receives benefits in cash or kind. Spot-fixing is often considered to be more favoured by bookmakers, especially in T20 cricket as their crime is unlikely to be caught as compared to match-fixing.
Sreesanth, who has served his seven-year ban, is gearing up to make a comeback and the right-arm pacer is leaving no stone unturned in his long and arduous road towards redemption. Recently, while speaking to The New Indian Express, Sreesanth said that he is bowling with passion and slowly getting back into the rhythm. He added that he is enjoying his bowling and the process that a first-class cricketer has to undergo to perform at the Ranji level. The 37-year old is looking to break into the Kerala side for the upcoming season of the Ranji Trophy. Sreesanth is still optimistic about playing for India again.
The Sreesanth cricket career has been quite an eventful one. In his short six-year international career, he won two World Cups with the Indian team (2007 World T20 and 2011 Cricket World Cup). Sreesanth has played 27 Tests where has bagged 87 wickets. The Kerala quick has featured in 53 ODI where he has bagged 75 wickets. He also has 7t20I wickets from 10 games.
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