Kochi: The Kerala High Court today lifted the life ban slapped on cricketer Sreesanth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Sreesanth was imposed a life ban by the BCCI following his alleged involvement in a spot-fixing scandal, which marred the Indian Premier League in 2013.
“He was acquitted in the case. Then how can the BCC impose a ban on him? It is denial of natural justice,” the HC observed while revoking his ban.
Speaking to a national television channel, Sreesanth said that he is very happy and thanked everyone for supporting him.
“I had a lot of support from people, I want to thank all of them. I am very happy and proud that the ban has been lifted by the court. I am only 34, so hope can play for at least 6 years. I hope to be back soon. The next step is to play for the Kerala Ranji team at the earliest. I will have to start from the scratch. Thanks to all those who prayed for me,” he said.
Sreesanth was cleared of criminal charges by a sessions court but continued to face sanctions issued on him by the BCCI.
The HC had in May sought the BCCI’s stand on a plea by Sreesanth challenging the life ban imposed upon him by the game’s governing body after detection of the 2013 IPL-6 spot-fixing scandal.
A bench of Justice P B Suresh Kumar sought the BCCI’s stand, issuing notice to its panel of administrators headed by Vinod Rai. The BCCI had earlier filed a counter-affidavit on the issue before the court in response to the plea by Sreesanth, who had challenged the continued life ban on him from the games despite his acquittal of the match-fixing charges.
All the 36 accused, including Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were discharged in the spot-fixing case by Patiala House Court in July 2015.
The BCCI, however, refused to alter its disciplinary decision, even after the verdict.