17 October, Kochi
In a blow to former Indian pacer S. Sreesanth, a division bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the appeal made by the national cricket board BCCI against a single bench verdict that lifted the life ban on the bowler in August.
The division bench of Chief Justice Navniti Prasad Singh ruled that the court cannot conduct a judicial review on the life ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and hence upheld the appeal.
The court heard the appeal petition for the past two days and delivered its verdict, which for now has ended Sreesanth’s hopes of not just playing for the Kerala Ranji side but also to take part in practise sessions at any place that comes under the BCCI or any state cricket association.
A furious Sreesanth wrote on Twitter: “This is the worst decision ever… Special rule for me? What about real culprits? What about Chennai Super Kings? And what about Rajasthan?”
Speaking to the media, Kerala Cricket Association secretary Jayesh George said the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) was supporting Sreesanth ever since the ban was lifted.
“We had made arrangements for him to undergo a full fitness test so as to make him match fit. Now with this verdict, we will have to respect it,” said George.
The only option before Sreesanth is to approach the Supreme Court. According to sources close to the bowler, he is likely to appeal against this verdict.
In 2015, the now 34-year-old pacer along with two other players got exonerated by a Delhi court in the case registered by Delhi Police. But the BCCI Disciplinary Committee headed by present Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slapped a life ban on Sreesanth.
After this, he approached the Kerala High Court, which on August 7 lifted the life ban.