KOLKATA: BCCI ombudsman’s decision to reduce the length of S Sreesanth’s ban may come as a fresh ray of hope for Ankeet Chavan. The Mumbai spinner was banned for life with the speedster in August, 2013, for involvement in spot-fixing during the IPL that year.
According to Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal, who probed irregularities in IPL as the head of a panel constituted by Supreme Court, Chavan will have a strong case if he appeals against the verdict. He also welcomes the decision to reduce the ban on Sreesanth, saying that the seven-year suspension he would end up serving was good enough.
“I’m not sure if Chavan has approached the court, but he can go to the ethics commission. Going by the parity of reasoning, he too should be treated similarly. He was handed the penalty for the same offence and in similar circumstances,” Justice Mudgal told this newspaper on Wednesday.
Before the BCCI ombudsman brought down Sreesanth’s ban, the bowler had won a court verdict which lifted his life ban and left it to the board to decide the quantum. There is no news of Chavan moving court. The left-arm spinner is 34 years old.
Justice Mudgal felt life ban was too harsh. “There is no doubt what Sreesanth did was not acceptable and the act deserved to be penalised. But there are three reasons why I support the reduction of the ban. By bowling no-balls, he didn’t affect the outcome of the match. Spot-fixing in not same as match-fixing. Finally, it was a match between two private entities in a private event. There were no nations involved. Seven years is fair enough.”
Sreesanth was accused of bowling no-balls deliberately and letting a towel hang out of his trousers to signal when he did it. The charge against Chavan was he conceded a certain number of runs in an over. Both played for Rajasthan Royals and were suspended by a BCCI disciplinary committee consisting of N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah. They were arrested and spent time behind the bars.
Ajit Chandila, a third player from Rajasthan Royals, was also banned for life for the same offence in the same edition of the IPL. But his ban was announced later, in January, 2016. There is no news of him appealing against the decision either.