THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: His spirits lifted by the Kerala High Court verdict setting aside the BCCI’s life ban on him for spot-fixing, former Inda cricketer S Sreesanth said he is planning to return to the Kerala cricket team and has already talked to the team coach Dav Whatmore. Asked about the national team, he said that was too far to think ahead to right now.
"I have to start from scratch. I want to play for Kerala and South Zone. I have always been saying that I will be back on the field by god's grace," said the 34-year-old seamer.
"Whatmore told me that someone who can bowl like me is always welcome in the squad," said Sreesanth.
Whatmore, a former coach of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, was appointed to coach Kerala in April this year under a six-month contract.
Sreesanth said he was not thinking too far ahead. "The Indian cricket team is performing very well these days. But I am not thinking too much ahead. I will go step by step. I need to recover my fitness and perform well with the ball first and not think about a national cap," he said.
The controversial bowler said he was not guilty of spot-fixing. "I have been subjected to a lot of criticism for things I haven't done. I need to thank my parents, family, friends, and everyone who has been with me during this difficult phase. It feels good to be back to my life as a cricketer," Sreesanth said.
"I do not want to speak against anyone. I hope they will support me from now on," he said when asked about the BCCI ban.
The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) backed Sreesanth after the High Court’s reprieve.
Its president B Vinod said Sreesanth was "Kerala's own cricketer" and said the state association would take positive action when it comes to the pace bowler.
KCA secretary Jayesh George said that KCA has back Sreesanth from the beginning and "will continue to do so."
BCCI vice president and former KCA president T C Mathew said he is happy to see Sreesanth making a comeback to cricket. "The administration and selection are different. Chief selector and selectors decide who should play for India," said Mathew when quizzed about Sreesanth's chances of making it to the national team.