Sreesanth to defy BCCI ban and play first division cricket

Sreesanth (centre) was banned by the BCCI for spot-fixing during IPL6. But despite charges later being dropped by a Delhi court, the BCCI is yet to lift the ban. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 15, 2017, 12.05 PM (IST)

Former India fast bowler S Sreesanth, who was barred for life by Indian cricket board over match-fixing charges, is set to defy the ban and represent a club team in India's southern state of Kerala.

The 34-year-old bowler will play for Ernakulam Cricket Club in a two-day game starting February 19. 

Sreesanth, who hails from Kerala, has decided to thumb his nose at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) because according to him, he has not received an official letter stating his life ban.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sreesanth said: "When there is no official letter stating my life ban then why will the umpires stop me from playing? There have been no emails, courier or anything which states that I am banned from playing cricket."

“All that I have received is a suspension letter when I was in Tihar jail. A suspension letter is valid only for 90 days. The BCCI has announced about my life ban only in the media. There is no official correspondence till date. I was stupid to have not played cricket for this long.”

A Delhi court had dropped all charges against Sreesanth in connection with the match-fixing charges during the seixth edition of the Indian Premier League in 2013. BCCI, however, has yet to relax the ban imposed on him.

Sreesanth had played 27 Test matches for India and took 87 wickets at 37.59 apiece and represented the country in 53 one day internationals, bagging 75 wickets.

He was also a part of India's T20 World Cup-winning team in 2007.