BCCI to SC on Sreesanth: 'Sad end to a talented sportsman'

Salman Khurshid, representing Sreesanth, said his client has not played for the past four years and he may get an opportunity in the Scottish circle. Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, for the BCCI, said the ban on the former pacer was taken with a heavy heart.

Sreesanth had been absolved in the IPL spot-fixing case. (File Photo)   -  PTI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) described to the Supreme Court on Monday that the life ban on former Indian pacer was a “sad” end to a talented sportsman, but nevertheless a necessary step against the bane of match-fixing.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra did not however hesitate to admit the petition filed by Sreesanth, represented by senior advocate Salman Khurshid. “We shall test this case,” Chief Justice Misra told Khurshid.

The court issued notice to BCCI, Kerala Cricket Association and former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, who is heading a committee appointed by the Supreme Court to run the day-to-day affairs of the Board. They have been asked to respond in four weeks.

Khurshid said his client has not played for the past four years and he may get an opportunity in the Scottish circle. Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, for the BCCI, said the ban on Sreesanth was taken with a heavy heart.

The former Indian cricketer was seen standing anxiously in the visitors' gallery of the courtroom. “He was seen putting his hankerchief in his pocket. His close friend was heard saying in Hindi that 'Rs. three lakh is for me and Rs. seven lakh is for you... what more is there?”

Tripathi recounted the incidents which led to the ban. But Khurshid pointed out that his client has been an “important asset” for the country even as Tripathi did not deny it. Khurshid said comments made by Tripathi foreclosed his case. Instead, the court should allow him a fair chance to present the cricketer's case.

Sreesanth had approached the apex against the Kerala High Court's order in October directing him to stay away from all cricket activity conducted by the BCCI.

Sreesanth was slapped with a life ban by the BCCI for his alleged role in spot-fixing while playing for Rajasthan Royals during the IPL in 2013.

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