Temperamental pacer S Sreesanth today landed in a new controversy when a co-passenger on a Bangalore-Delhi flight alleged that the cricketer had indulged in "boorish behaviour" on board the aircraft. The co-passenger, T R Ravichandran alleged that Sreesanth got into a "childish argument" with flight attendants when he was asked not to sit near the emergency exit.
Ravichandran said other passengers, including himself, objected to Sreesanth's behaviour which led to delay in take-off of the flight.
However, Sreesanth denied the allegations and said he hardly had any conversation with the passenger and he knew how to behave in public.
"I am denying any abuse. I have never used any abusive language. I don't think I have used any abusive language in a flight. Secondly, I play for Indian team and I know the rules and how to behave publicly and personally. I try to set the standards," he said.
Ravichandran claimed that the incident took place in flight S2 4234 from Bangalore to Delhi. "Sreesanth was alloted seat 29A which incidentally was close to the emergency exit. And as he was sporting an injury, flight attendants requested him to move, albeit temporarily, till take off to ensure that no one is inconvenienced in case of any emergency. Instead of letting the attendants do their job, he got into a childish argument thereby delaying the take off by 15 minutes," Ravichandran was quoted as saying in a letter to a TV news channel.
"Inspite of four people requesting, he kept insisting he would not move and that he was not injured, he is a sportsman etc. As a fellow passenger, I objected to his boorish behaviour," he added.
Denying the allegations, Sreesanth said, "I was with a friend and there were passengers next to me, I don't know why they are complaining. This incident, I am totally unaware of it. I hardly had any conversation with any one of them."
"In fact I was listening to music which I usually do. Using an abusive language in a public place, I will never do that. They said 29A was my seat because it was a full economy flight and I had to travel two and a half hours to Delhi," said Sreesanth.
"On a full economy flight, I asked for that seat so that I could stretch my leg and sit. The moment I came in, they said you can't sit here. That was the conversation I had. i said this is 29A and I deserve to sit here. My friend also said the same thing. That was the only conversation I had. The person said that I was not fit. I said I have not asked for a wheelchair. I was about to miss the flight and I ran into the flight," he said.
No stranger to controversies, Sreesanth was involved in the infamous slap-gate in a 2008 IPL match at Mohali where he was slapped by then fellow India teammate Harbhajan Singh after an altercation.