Ban over, Sreesanth free to play cricket now

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KOCHI: For the last several months, S Sreesanth has been counting down to this day, September 13, 2020. Today, the seven-year ban from the game imposed on him by the BCCI comes to an end and the Indian speedster is free to play from Monday.
“I have got freedom, freedom to play again. It’s a massive relief. I don’t think anyone else will understand what it means to me,” Sreesanth told TOI.
However, the Covid pandemic has brought domestic cricketing activities in the country to a standstill and an immediate return to the cricket field looks a remote possibility for Sreesanth.
“After a long wait, I can play again but there is no place to play in the country now. I even planned to organise a local tournament in Kochi this week so that I could step on to the field but decided against it looking at the risks involved, as the number of coronavirus cases in Kerala is increasing,” Sreesanth summed up his disappointment.
With nowhere to play, the 37-year-old says he even contemplated announcing his retirement in the last few days.
“From last May, I have put my heart and soul into training looking forward to playing again. So when I read reports suggesting that the domestic cricket in India may be a non-starter this season, I was shattered. I even thought of quitting the game. But then I thought I wouldn’t be doing justice to myself as all the efforts I have made to play the game again for all these years would have gone down the drain.
“My mother, who had to amputate one of her legs, also served as an inspiration. She asked me not to give up and I promised her I won’t,” revealed an emotional Sreesanth.
The pacer, with 87 wickets in Tests and 211 in first-class games to his name, is hopeful that BCCI will hold some form of domestic cricket this season as the livelihoods of many players in the country depend on it.
“My first priority is to prove my fitness and represent Kerala in domestic cricket. But if the domestic season in India is cancelled, I will have to look at other options. If there is no cricket here, then I might as well request the BCCI to allow me to play abroad,” he said.

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