Indian cricket is filled with players, who had immense talent and charisma but failed to perform on the big stage due to variety of reasons. Kerala speedster S Sreesanth was one such talent that divided opinion like no one and is currently in the news for all the wrong reasons, again! The latest development regarding Sreesanth is that Kerala High Court restoring the life ban on the cricketer for his alleged involvement in the IPL during 2013 playing for Rajasthan Royals. The life ban was originally imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for his alleged role in the spot-fixing scandal.
India is considered as a land of batsmen and Indian psyche is obsessed with batsmen ranging from Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and now Virat Kohli. Indian team has over the years struggled with genuine quality fast bowlers and in recent memory only Kapil Dev could be considered as a true great in pace bowling. Indian cricket, after the match-fixing scandal, 2000 changed forever and under Sourav Ganguly’s leadership, India started to develop fast bowlers and fast bowling became sexy again. Kerala is a land mostly known for its football and tourism, but Sreesanth was like a breath of fresh air and took the cricketing world by storm and played cricket on his own terms.
Sreesanth was a highly talented bowler and had an attitude that could sometime rub people the wrong way and had a presence on the cricket field. The highly emotional bowler had a beautiful and rhythmic action and his presentation of seam was brilliant and he could literally make ball talk. Sreesanth was highly temperamental and sometimes it could come in his way and had lots of disciplinary issues on and off the field. Indian team always craved for bowlers who could win India matches overseas and Sreesanth was always there and thereabouts and played an important role in India’s resurgence in overseas conditions.
How will history judge Sreesanth? Sreesanth always played with heart on his sleeve and always gave 100 percent on the field. Like any human being sometimes emotions got better of him (slapgate with Harbhajan Singh) and came across as rather difficult person to deal with. When in full flow there was no other bowler as Sreesanth and believe it or not Sreesanth played in the final of the 2011 World Cup and took the winning catch of 2007 World T20 in South Africa against Pakistan. In hindsight, if Sreesanth gets his chance again he should be more circumspect and would like to do his ball do the talking. We would never know what transpired during the spot-fixing saga, but this episode will forever remain a blot on Sreesanth’s career.