India

If Azharuddin was allowed to return to cricket world, why not me: Sreesanth to SC – Times of India

If Azharuddin was allowed to return to cricket world, why not me: Sreesanth to SC – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Challenging

BCCI

‘s decision to ban him for life from Cricket, ex-Indian cricket team player

S Sreesanth

on Friday told the Supreme Court that the punishment is “too harsh” and he should be allowed to return to field as at 36 he is running against time.


Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for the cricketer, told a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi that Sreesanth had been acquitted by trail court in spot-fixing case and the life ban should be revoked and he be allowed to play cricket. He said that other players whose names also cropped up in the

spot-fixing scandal

were banned for three to five years and life ban against Sreesanth is not justified.


“Life ban is too harsh. He is already 35. He cannot even play local club cricket because of ban. He wants to play cricket and he got some offer from England but the offer will disappear if he is not allowed to play,” Khurshid said while pleading the court to pass interim order allow him to accept the offer.


Khurshid said that no other cricketer has been treated in such a harsh manner and referred that even former captain

Mohammad Azharuddin

has been allowed to return to cricket administration and BCCI allowed him to contest for the post of president of Hyderabad Cricket Association.


Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for Committee of Administrators (

CoA

), said that there should be zero tolerance against any kind of corruption and malpractices in cricket and the harsh punishment was slapped to send a stern message to other players.


The bench, however, deferred the hearing and said that the Delhi High Court should first decide appeal filed against Sreesanth’s acquittal in spot-fixing scandal. The court posted the hearing to third week of January.


Life ban was slapped against the fast bowler after his alleged involvement in spot fixing during the 2013 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket. The Delhi Police had arrested Sreesanth, along with cricketers Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, and others on charges of spot-fixing.


As many as 36 accused in the spot-fixing case, including Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila, were let-off by a Patiala House court in July, 2015. The Delhi Police had later challenged the Patiala High Court decision in the Delhi High Court. The BCCI had, however, refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.


A single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had on August 7 last year lifted the life ban imposed on Sreesanth but a division bench of the high court later restored the ban on a petition filed by the BCCI. The cricketer thereafter moved SC against HC order.


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