What's the story?
Indian speedster, S. Sreesanth's petition to lift the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI has been taken into account by the Kerala High Court, which has issued a notice to the BCCI regarding the same. The Indian Cricket Board had banned Sreesanth from playing cricket despite the Delhi High Court freeing him of all charges.
Sreesanth had already written to the former Supreme Court-appointed Committee of the BCCI requesting his ban to be reviewed as he had already lost four years of his career. However, BCCI had earlier stated why they had not uplifted the ban.
"The anti-corruption unit of the BCCI had reported matters against these three and then the disciplinary committee felt that they deserved to be banned for bringing the game to disrepute. Now the case at the court was in regards to their connection with underworld dons and the fact that there weren’t enough charges to prove that they were criminal.
“I don't understand why people are confusing it. Criminal and disciplinary issues are two completely different things. It is important that those criticising the BCCI should realise where we are coming from. It is not like the BCCI wishes to spoil careers," a senior BCCI official had said as revealed in India Today.
In case you didn't know...
Sreesanth had accepted the BCCI’s ban from cricket until he was declined an NOC to play in the Scotland Cricket League last month. This seemed to have agitated the Kerala bowler, who went on to state that justice wasn’t being served to him.
In his statement, Sreesanth said that the BCCI disciplinary committee had banned him based on the evidence from Delhi Police. While the pacer has been cleared of criminal charges his ban hasn't been lifted because the fixing charges are still true. According to the India Penal Code, those aren't criminal offences.
The heart of the matter
Sreesanth's petition to the Kerala High Court has finally escalated proceedings. The Kerala HC sent a notice to BCCI based on the petition the former seamer had filed.
The Kerala cricketer was arrested during the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League along with two other teammates from Rajasthan Royals. Although he was later cleared of criminal charges, BCCI refused to lift the ban imposed on the speedster and even declined him an NOC to play in Scotland.
With no other go, Sreesanth petitioned the Kerala High Court and they have taken matters into their own hands and forwarded a notice to the BCCI.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 5 and although it seems unlikely that BCCI will lift the ban entirely, the pacer may get some consideration since he was exonerated of criminal charges in the Delhi court.
At the very least, the Kerala bowler might be given an NOC to play in Scotland. However, uplifting the entire life ban seems a slim possibility.
The BCCI is justified in sustaining the life ban imposed on the pace bowler. Sreesanth's claims that the BCCI is disrupting his career progress seem to be a bit misplaced given the fact that his life ban is based on these fixing charges rather than criminal offences.