blow to sree

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Oct 2017 11:05:57

FOR the time being the doors of Indian cricket have been closed on pace bowler S. Sreesanth with the division bench of Kerala High Court upholding the appeal of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), unless of course the bowler approaches the Supreme Court and gets relief there. The verdict of the single bench of the Kerala High Court, which had set aside the life ban imposed by the BCCI on Sreesanth, had given a glimmer of hope for the former India cricketer of his career being revived. But the division bench of the same court has, for the time being, ended any revival hopes for Sreesanth. This is indeed a great blow for a cricketer who was just making a mark at international level. But for this mess-up of his career he himself must take the entire blame. 

He could not resist the indiscretion of accepting bribe for spot-fixing in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, unmindful of the consequence of his illegal act. He was clearly guilty of compromising the dignity and prestige of the game which gave him name and fame internationally. The BCCI Disciplinary Committee, headed by Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley did the right thing in recommending life ban on Sreesanth along with other two cricketers. The Sreesanth episode has come as a next big scandal after the one involving Mohammed Azharuddin and South African cricketer Hansie Chronie.

The Sreesanth episode probably provided the trigger for the Supreme Court to order thorough investigation in the affairs of the BCCI as some big names cropped up in the fixing scandal and the issue of conflict of interest gained prominence. The BCCI is still reeling under its impact as the Supreme Court appointed committee is pushing the reluctant BCCI relentlessly to implement the reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee.

The welcome fall-out of the Sreesanth episode is that there is a semblance of apprehension among clandestine and sly operators of betting syndicates about approaching cricketers for fixing purposes as the International Cricket Council (ICC) too has taken the issue seriously and has appointed its own anti-corruption arm to monitor and keep close watch on sly operators and gullible cricketers.

After the division bench of the Kerala High Court upheld BCCI’s appeal justifying the life ban, Sreesanth has said that he will play for another country as cricket is dear to his heart and that he still has five-six years of cricket left in him. But it is a big question as to whether the ICC will allow a cricketer, who has been banned for life by the parent, member-board, to migrate to another country. Neither the BCCI nor the ICC should show any leniency or condone corruption by cricketers.