New Delhi, December 7: Banned cricketer S Sreesanth on Friday told the Supreme Court that he has offers to play English County matches and the life ban imposed on him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is “too harsh” and he has suffered immensely because of it. In 2015, he was acquitted by a Delhi court in the sensational 2013 spot-fixing case. He said that when the life ban on cricketer turned politician Mohammad Azharuddin, who was accused of being involved in a match-fixing scandal in 2000, can be reversed then why can’t his life ban imposed by the BCCI be set aside.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi noted that appeal against the 2015 order of trial court is pending before the Delhi High Court and the hearing is scheduled in the second week of January.
“We will hear the matter in third week of January,” the bench said, while adjourning the matter.
Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Sreesanth said that the cricketer is now 35 years of age and if the ban is not revoked, he will not be able to play club cricket in the United Kingdom for which he has two-three offers.
He said that at 35 years of age, his international cricket career is virtually over but he should at least be allowed to play club cricket.
Khurshid further said that except for Sreesanth, none of the other players who were embroiled in the alleged spot-fixing scandal were given a life ban.
Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for BCCI, said that there was incriminating evidence against Sreesanth due to which the apex cricket body imposed the ban on him.
He said that the BCCI has adopted zero tolerance against corruption in the game and the life ban cannot be revoked.
On May 15, the apex court had denied Sreesanth the opportunity to play in the English County but asked the Delhi High Court to decide expeditiously an appeal challenging a trial court order discharging several cricketers, including him, in the case. (PTI)