CHENNAI: In his fifth season after making first-class debut, left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan had finally cemented his place in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad. His sensational spell of 9/23 against Punjab in that season was the third-best figures by any bowler in the domestic event. A string of consistent performances meant he was Mumbai’s leading spinner in their 40th title triumph in the 2012-13 season.
It was then when life took a turn for the worst for the Mumbaikar as he along with Rajasthan Royals teammates S Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila was arrested by Delhi Police for spot-fixing in IPL 2013. Chavan and Sreesanth were later handed life bans by the BCCI disciplinary panel in the same year forcing the former to go into oblivion. With BCCI ombudsman retired Justice DK Jain reducing Kerala speedster’s life ban to seven years on Tuesday, the verdict might have rekindled Chavan’s hopes. “I don’t want to comment. The verdict was delivered only yesterday. (But) it’s good for him (Sreesanth) that his life ban has been reduced to seven years,” Chavan told this newspaper.
Speaking on his plans after the judgement, Chavan though preferred to tread carefully but gave subtle hints that he may approach the authority concerned. “I’m thinking about it but I haven’t made my mind yet.”
The ban couldn’t have come at a worse time for him as he was supposed to get married a fortnight after his arrest. The tweaker didn’t tweak his plans as he got married after being granted bail by a court irrespective of the fact that most of his Mumbai teammates stayed away from it.
Chavan’s terse replies during the conversation hinted enough that he wants to keep his cards close to his chest but an abrupt question on his cricket opened up the so far reticent spinner. “Nobody can take cricket away from me,” was his response when questioned does he still practice.