Life ban biggest setback, says Sreesanth

The BCCI has banned Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for their involvement in the IPL-6 spot-fixing scandal.

A day after he was banned for life by the BCCI for his involvement in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal, disgraced India and Rajasthan Royals pacer S Sreesanth, claimed on Saturday that he was singularly being targeted.

Sreesanth said that the ban handed out by BCCI's three-member disciplinary committee was the biggest set back of his life.

The Indian Express reported on Saturday that Sreesanth is likely to challenge the life ban in court. "The IPL spot-fixing case is still in the courts and in such a scenario the BCCI's disciplinary panel should have waited for the final verdict before issuing any kind of sanction. The Ravi Sawani report is largely based on the version of the Delhi police, which has been questioned by the courts. Sreesanth will challenge the life ban," a source close to Sreesanth told the daily.

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However, Sreesanth said that he is going to wait until the court hearing on October 7 to take a decision on his further course of action.

Sreesanth also tweeted on Saturday: "Plss have faith in me..Iam sure I will prove my innocence soon....I will get through this..I ve full faith ..God is great.."

On Friday, the disciplinary committee - comprising self-exiled president N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah — banned Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for life and handed out a five-year and one-year ban to Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi, respectively. Harmeet Singh was let off with a warning since the BCCI had no evidence against him; while a decision on Ajit Chandila will be taken in a few days.

Following the BCCI panel's decision on Friday, Sreesanth said he was confident of making a comeback. "I will make a comeback and I have started training for that," he told a Malayalam television channel.

After appearing before the committee earlier in the day on Friday, Sreesanth said he would never cheat the game and added he has full faith in the judiciary and the BCCI.

"All the disciplinary committee members were very cooperative and it went off well. I gave them my side of the story. All I have dreamt from childhood is to play for India and I will never cheat the game," Sreesanth had said, adding, "I have full faith in the judiciary as well as the BCCI and I will come clean on this whole issue."

The disciplinary committee met in New Delhi on Friday under the chairmanship of Srinivasan and deliberated on the findings of anti-corrution unit chief Ravi Sawani for more than three hours.

Since Chandila was released from jail this week, Sawani couldn't interrogate him and his case will be taken up later.

A former CBI officer, Sawani recommended the bans in his report submitted to the board last month. Sawani was asked to investigate the alleged involvement of Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila in conceding a pre-determined number of runs per over in exchange for money during the IPL's sixth edition.

The four players found guilty of spot-fixing are among 39 persons who have also been charged separately by Delhi Police in the corruption scandal that rocked this year's IPL. (With agency inputs)