Sreesanth's life ban reduced to seven years, eligible to play in September 2020
Former India paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's life ban for alleged spot-fixing in IPL games was reduced to seven years in an order passed by BCCI Ombudsman, Justice (Retd.) DK Jain, on Tuesday (August 20). Jain said in his order that ban will be for seven years, beginning on 13.09.2013 - date from which the ban imposed by BCCI Disciplinary Committee began.
Sreesanth, who will be 37 years of age by the time the ban ends next year, will be eligible to play cricket professionally as well as be allowed to be associated with the sport as a coach or mentor or TV commentator/expert in the future.
The order will now be put in front of Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in the next meeting, who are expected to give the go-ahead to BCCI to lift Sreesanth's ban.
The BCCI banned Sreesanth for life in September 2013, along with his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, for indulging in alleged spot-fixing in the IPL that year.
But on March 15 this year, the Supreme Court set aside the BCCI disciplinary committee's order. Now, in an order passed on August 7, Jain said 'ends of justice' would be met by making it a seven-year suspension and letting him play next year.
"...for Mr Sreesanth, who is now in his late thirties, his prime years as a cricketer, particularly as a fast bowler may already be over," Jain wrote in his order, posted on the BCCI website.
"... I am of the view that banning Mr. Sreesanth from participating in any kind of commercial Cricket or from associating with any activities of the BCCI or its affiliates, for a period of seven years with effect from 13.09.2013, i.e. the date from which, the period of ban imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had commenced, will meet the ends of justice," Jain said in the order.
In April this year, a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph said that BCCI Ombudsman would reconsider within three months, the quantum of punishment for Sreesanth for his involvement in the spot-fixing episode. The Kerala paceman turned out in 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India, claiming 169 wickets in all. He last played for India back in 2011.
"Although the BCCI has referred to his erratic behaviour, both on and off the field, with fellow players, but nothing has been brought on record by the BCCI to show that any sanction was imposed on him in the past. On the contrary, he was regularly participating in the national and international matches.