New Delhi: India fast bowler Sreesanth had been trying to play league cricket in Scotland this year but the BCCI, which had imposed a life ban on him following his alleged involvement in the IPL spot-fixing scandal of 2013, has refused to give him the necessary permission.
Sreesanth had been hoping to play for Glenrothes CC and had asked the BCCI for a no-objection certificate, however a board official confirmed that they had not obliged his request. Sreesanth, though, claimed he has not received any word from the BCCI. “I don’t know… I still haven’t got any letter from BCCI,” he told ESPNcricinfo in a text message and revealed a similar request last year had gone unanswered.
In May 2013, Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals bowlers – Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila – were arrested for alleged fulfilling of promises made to bookmakers. All three players were later banned for life by the BCCI.
In 2015, Sreesanth was cleared of spot-fixing charges by a Delhi trial court due to insufficient evidence under the MCOCA act, a special law passed by the Maharashtra state government to tackle organised crime syndicates and terrorism.
“I will try to start training properly as soon as possible,” Sreesanth had said then. “I wasn’t allowed anything… Hopefully I can get permission from BCCI to use their facilities so that I can get fit and come into the selection process.”
But the BCCI’s investigation in 2013, handled by the board’s then anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani, only needed to focus on the conduct of the players and not their alleged connections to organised crime syndicates. The BCCI’s decisions were therefore”independent to any criminal proceeding” and “based on its independent disciplinary action, shall remain unaltered.”
Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were found guilty of match-fixing, seeking or offering a bribe as a reward for match-fixing, underperforming for a reward, ensuring the occurrence of an event during a match, knowing it is the subject of a bet, receiving payment or gift for the possibility of bringing cricket into disrepute, failing to report an approach by bookmakers to fix a match to the BCCI anti-corruption unit.