After Supreme Court set aside the life ban on S Sreesanth imposed by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), the fast bowler thanked the judiciary adding that he is optimistic to make a comeback in cricket. "It's a huge relief. The court has given me a huge lifeline and I am happy with the opportunity given to me," Sreesanth told NDTV after the ruling. Sreesanth, along with Mumbai spinner Ankit Chavan and Haryana's Ajit Chandila, were suspended for life by a BCCI disciplinary committee in 2013, a decision that the player had challenged in court.
"I am just being optimistic and I hope to keep myself fit until September-October. Now, I believe I can even play Ranji Trophy for Kerala this season which starts from September-October," he added.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph said the disciplinary committee of the BCCI may reconsider within three months the quantum of punishment to be given to Sreesanth.
The bench made it clear that the cricketer may get the opportunity of being heard by the committee on the quantum of the punishment.
The top court also said that its verdict shall have no effect on the criminal proceedings pending against the former cricketer in the Delhi High Court, where the Delhi Police has challenged a trial court's order discharging all accused, including Sreesanth, in the IPL spot-fixing case.
The bench passed this order on Sreesanth's plea challenging the decision of a division bench of the Kerala High Court which had restored the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI.
A single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had lifted the life ban imposed on the 35-year-old cricketer by the BCCI and had set aside all proceedings against him initiated by the board. Later, the division bench of the high court had restored the ban on a petition filed by the BCCI against the single-judge bench's order.
(With PTI inputs)