It was supposed to be an opportunity to join the big league for the likes of Mohnish Mishra, Abhinav Bali and Amit Yadav. However, the distractions that come with money got the better of these domestic cricketers, leading to a ban that lasted one year.
On Wednesday, the nightmare for the trio will come to an end. But with it will come another concern - will the cricket community in India accept them now?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had banned five domestic cricketers, including the trio, following a sting operation by a TV channel last year. The players were accused of 'spot-fixing, loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging'.
Ravi Sawani, head of the BCCI's anti-corruption unit, had prepared a report after questioning these players and submitted it to the disciplinary committee comprising BCCI president N Srinivasan and vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah. The disciplinary committee then imposed a life ban on T Sudhindra and handed Shalabh Srivastava a five-year ban on the basis of Sawani's report. Mishra, Bali and Yadav were given one-year bans.
With the ban came a huge disappointment as it not only barred these uncapped players from taking part in the Indian domestic T20 league but also prohibited them from playing in any domestic competition for their respective states.
Come Wednesday and hopefully a new beginning would await these cricketers. Having learnt from their mistake, they definitely would like to make amends.
"I am relieved as the ban is over. It was the toughest year of my life but I have learnt from my mistake. I hope I can regain my place in the state team on the basis of my performances. I would like to make a strong comeback," said one of the players, who did not wish to be identified.
The players are eagerly waiting for a go-ahead from the BCCI so that they can resume playing in domestic circuit.
"I am waiting for an official communique from the board. Once I receive it, I will again become eligible to play in BCCI-recognised tournaments," added the player.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.