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Big Blow to Sreesanth as Hc Orders Life Ban to Stay

The life ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on former Team India pacer S. Sreesanth will stay. A division bench of the Kerala High Court in Kochi said Sreesanth will have to stay away from all cricket activity conducted by the BCCI. S. Sreesanth was slapped a life ban by the BCCI in 2015 after the Kerala pacer was charged with corruption during the 2013 Indian Premier League. Sreesanth was charged with spot-fixing while playing for Rajasthan Royals.

In August this year, the Kerala High Court revoked the BCCIs decision to impose a life ban on S. Sreesanth. Last year a special court in Delhi had acquitted him in the 2013 IPL?spot-fixing case. The Delhi Police continues to pursue the matter. This High Courts order will come as a big blow to the 34-year-old who was planning to play Ranji Trophy for Kerala. The Kerala High Court division bench of Chief Justice Navniti Prasad Singh ruled that the court cannot conduct a judicial review on the life ban imposed by the BCCI and hence upheld the cricket Boards appeal.

An angry S. Sreesanth called the courts verdict the worst decision ever. He questioned the BCCIs decision on allowing Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals back in the IPL fold after serving twoyear suspensions each.

Chennai Super Kings, owned by former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan and Rajasthan Royals, former IPL champions, will be back in IPL?2018. Both teams were banned by a Supreme Court panel for two years after their team owners were caught for betting on IPL matches. Speaking to the media, Kerala Cricket Association secretary Jayesh George said the KCA was supporting S. Sreesanth ever since the ban was lifted. We had made arrangements for him to undergo a full fitness test so as to make him match fit. Now with this verdict, we will now have to respect it, said George.

Now the only option before Sreesanth is to approach the Supreme Court and, according to sources close to the bowler, he is likely to go in appeal against this verdict. S. Sreesanths angst could open a can of worms. The former speedster has urged the Supreme Court to reveal the names of all the 13 persons indicted by the Mukul Mudgal committee for corruption. A similar plea has been made by the Cricket Association of Bihar, the original petitioners of the IPL 2013 scandal. A hearing has been scheduled for later this month.

Sreesanth is desperate to play cricket and this latest verdict is stopping him from making a comeback. So, he has come out and threatened to "play from other country". In an interview to a TV channel, Sreesanth, said that "BCCI is a private firm and he has the freedom to play cricket for any other country". However, the BCCI said that a cricketer banned by one board cannot play for another. Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Dubai, Sreesanth said, "BCCI has imposed the ban, not ICC. If not India, I can play for any other country, because am 34 now and I can only play for maximum six more years. "BCCI is a private firm; it is only us who say that this is the Indian team, but you know BCCI is a private body after all. So, if I play for any other country, it probably may be the same. Yes, representing Kerala in Ranji Trophy is different. I had hoped to win Ranji Trophy, Irani for Kerala, but the decision rests up on the BCCI," Sreesanth said.

It is learnt that Sreesanth did make any attempt in the past to play in the Scottish League, but BCCI refused to give any kind of permission that is required by ICC administered bodies. "He is living in fool's paradise and that's all I can say for now," said a former BCCI official who was there when Kerala cricketer was found cheating in 2013.

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