CHENNAI: EVEN as the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) wrote a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) requesting the life ban on S Sreesanth be lifted following a Kerala High Court order, his return is unlikely to happen soon. The BCCI during its meeting with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Wednesday discussed the order, even as Sreesanth revealed that he is keen to get back to first-class cricket and has already set sights on the South Africa tour early next year.
The BCCI is set to approach the Kerala High Court against his acquittal. During the meeting, CoA chief Vinod Rai also raised the issue of clearing the dues of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin on the basis of an Andhra HC order of 2012.
However, it is understood that the BCCI asked the CoA not to interfere as the decision in both cases was taken by its general body following internal inquiries. A BCCI official revealed the CoA was told about the procedures followed by the previous BCCI regimes and why removing the ban would send a wrong message to those involved in fixing. “The life bans on both cricketers were ratified during the AGM and it cannot be overturned just like that. With regards to Azhar, the general body has to be consulted and it has to be approved in the next AGM.
As far as Sreesanth goes, the BCCI, after consulting the members, will approach the Kerala High Court,” an official told Express. It is understood that Rai didn’t press for it further, although one of the officials said that he walked out midway through the meeting. He was also told that it is a common practice for cricket boards the world over to impose such bans. The BCCI seems to have cited the case of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, who despite being jailed in UK, were suspended for a period of time by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Undertaking for commentators
With regards to commentators for the upcoming international season, Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Murali Kartik and Harsha Bhogle have been shortlisted, while it is understood that the confirmation would only happen if all four submit an undertaking stating that they are not part of player-management firms. It has been done keeping in mind the conflict of interest issues raised by historian Ramachandra Guha in his resignation letter from the CoA.
Guha had said that Ga vaskar is associated with PMG, a firm which manages a few Indian stars as well as some in the domestic circuit. The indication is that until the four sign an undertaking, they won’t be added to the list. “If Gavaskar wants to get the commentator’s contract, then he has to completely detach himself from PMG,” the official pointed out. Gavaskar was being paid `4 crore annually and though the board is expecting him to ask for a compensati on, he is unlikely to be entertained on this.