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Mark the date! On Feb 19, Sreesanth to defy BCCI and play for Kerala club

Tainted cricketer Sreesanth set to play for Kerala club Ernakulam Cricket Club on February 19 as an act of defiance against BCCI after the Indian cricket board denied him permission to play in Scotland

Sreesanth to defy BCCI
Sreesanth to defy BCCI 

Tainted former India pacer S Sreesanth is ready to take on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to fulfill his dream of making a comeback to cricket.

After being refused a no-objection certificate (NOC) by the Indian cricket board to play for Scotland-based Glenrothes Cricket Club, the Kerala speedster is set to defy the BCCI's life ban imposed on him.

According to a Hindustan Times report, Sreesanth plans to play a first division two-day league match for the Ernakulam Cricket Club on February 19.

Sreesanth had once expressed confidence of representing India in the 2019 World Cup. But that dreams seems distant now
Sreesanth had once expressed confidence of representing India in the 2019 World Cup. But that dreams seems distant now. File Pic

The report quotes the 34-year-old as saying, "When there is no official letter stating my life ban then why will the umpires stop me from playing? There have been no emails, courier or anything which states that I am banned from playing cricket. Not even my state or district associations have received any letter with regards to this from the BCCI. All that I have received is a suspension letter when I was in Tihar jail. A suspension letter is valid only for 90 days. The BCCI has announced about my life ban only in the media. There is no official correspondence till date. I was stupid to have not played cricket for this long. It is only now I realised that what the hell I was doing."

The report also quoted a senior BCCI official as saying that the club too could be banned if Sreesanth was allowed to play.

Sreesanth claimed his club has been supportive of his comeback plans. “They are excited to see me on the field. Although there is no ban, my lawyers are preparing proper documentation so that there is no confusion at the ground," he was quoted as saying.

If he manages to play on February 19 without any controversies, Sreesanth is hoping to fly to Scotland and represent Glenrothes Cricket Club.

Demonstrators hold posters and shout slogans against S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila in Bangalore in 2013. Pic/AFP
Demonstrators hold posters and shout slogans against S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila in Bangalore in 2013. Pic/AFP 

In May 2013, Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals bowlers - Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were arrested for alleged involvement in spot-fixing. All three players were later banned for life by the BCCI. 

In 2015, all the 36 accused persons including Sreesanth was cleared of spot-fixing charges by a Delhi trial court due to insufficient evidence under the MCOCA act, a special law passed by the Maharashtra state government to tackle organised crime syndicates and terrorism.

Notwithstanding the July 2015 verdict of a Delhi court dropping charges against Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, the BCCI had decided to stick to its ban on the three cricketers.

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