Sreesanth has always maintained his innocence in the match-fixing scandal that banned him from cricket for life.
Sreesanth, the former Indian cricketer is a classic example of ‘Once a cricketer, always a cricketer’. Now in 2018, after a long hiatus of 5 years, he was again seen bowling with full throttle and dismissing batsmen in a local cricket match. Posting his pictures on social media, the former team India bowler captioned, “Life is beautiful dedication”. After he was banned in 2013, being entangled in an IPL match fixing scandal, he went through much transformation in career, marking his presence in Bollywood from cricket matches. He debuted Bollywood with the movie Axar 2, and now, he is gearing up for his upcoming film named ‘Kempegowda 2’.
Back in 2011, when he last played for India, he was still a new and young player in the team. His emerging career got stronger with each match he played. This made him a top pick for Rajasthan Royals, the IPL team. His involvement in the match-fixing scandal that rocked the season came out as a shocking development. In a series of press meet afterwards, the player hinted that he might have gone blown away with the load of glamor and money that flushed into his life. Court verdict was against him, while BCCI banned him for life! There were criticisms that the punishment was a bit harsh for the crime he committed, or for no crime at all. He had a long career ahead, and a much time to improve his attitude towards the game.
Sreesanth’s perfect Yorkers made him an efficient fast bowler.
With an intension to play clean, the cricketer has been trying to break his boundaries and enter the cricket stadium again. Kerala Cricket Association was in constant battle with BCCI to bring back the player. The tryst evolved as a legal battle for justice. Kerala High Court clearing the bowler to play domestic cricket, but was turned down by BCCI. Sreesanth is still active in pursuing his place as an Indian cricketer and at least play domestic cricket. Being one of the finest pacers in team India, domestic matches could be his gateway to the team of big boys.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was born in February of 1983 in Kerala of India. His father Santhakumaran Nair and mother Savithri Devi had three other children, his elder brother and two elder sisters. Almost all of them are related to entertainment industry. His brother owns a music company in Kochi, his eldest sister is a television actress. Her husband is Madhu Balakrishnan, the famous playback singer. This family relationships explain his easy entry to professional acting and movies.
As a young player, Sreesanth preferred leg spin; trying to follow Anil Kumble. But he used to deliver perfect Yorkers, which made him more efficient as a fast bowler. In year 2000, he was selected for the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. His first-class debut match was against Goa in 2002-03 season. In this season, he marked his breakthrough taking 22 wickets in only 7 matches. His next performance was in Duleep trophy, where he impressed the selectors. He played for India A side taking a single wicket against New Zealand. It could have been more, but he injured his hamstring. This injury made him to stay away from the five Ranji matches of the season.
Sreesanth forayed into acting in movies after he was banned from playing cricket.
With an impressive form, it was not hard for Sreesanth to enter the Primary XI of team India. He debuted ODI in October of 2005 against Sri Lanka. In the following year, he debuted both Test and T20I. He played 27 Test matches taking a total of 87 wickets. In 53 ODIs he took 75 wickets with an average of 33.44. His T20I record comprises of 7 wickets in 10 T20I. He was an IPL player since the inaugural season of the tournament. In the maiden season, he took 18 wickets for Rajasthan Royals, playing as the second highest wicket taker.
But his IPL timeline was disrupted with injuries, the player remaining rested for seasons, until 2013, when the player got entangled with the fixing scandal. In 2008 season, he was involved in an altercation with Harbhajan Singh. The senior cricketer slapped him after the former’s team lost three consecutive matches. Sreesanth was seen sobbing on TV cameras. Following the spot fixing charges, Delhi Police arrested the player. Although, per police, he confessed to spot fixing, he alleged that he was forced to sign confession statements. The player always maintained his innocence.
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