Kerala High Court orders BCCI to lift lifetime ban on Sreesanth

The Kerala High Court has ordered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to lift the lifetime ban on S Sreesanth, imposed on the basis of spot-fixing charges in 2013.

Last year a special court in Delhi had acquitted him in the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing case, but the BCCI had turned down Sreesanth’s plea to remove the ban. Later, he approached the Kerala High Court stating that the cricket body continued to deny him the opportunity to play, despite being proved innocent by the court.

During a hearing in April, the BCCI responded to the petition filed by Sreesanth, stating that, “The decision of the sessions court to acquit the petitioner from criminal charges has no impact whatsoever on the decision of the internal disciplinary committee of the BCCI to ban the petitioner from playing cricket tournaments organised by the BCCI and/or its affiliates. The question before the sessions court was whether the petitioner (and other accused) were guilty of penal consequences under relevant criminal statutes.

“On the other hand, the question before the BCCI disciplinary committee was whether the petitioner is guilty of match-fixing, corruption and gambling and violation of the internal disciplinary rules of the BCCI. The standard of proof required under a penal statute is much higher than the proof required for a disciplinary inquiry. Therefore, on an appreciation of the same evidence, one may not be guilty of criminal consequences but can be found guilty for violating the internal disciplinary rules of an organization,” BCCI’s affidavit stated.

In May 2013, Sreesanth, and his teammates Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila of the Rajasthan Royals were arrested by the Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in the spot-fixing controversy.

Speaking to the media post the verdict, the former India seamer said his first priority was to get into the Kerala team.

“Many people supported me in thick and thin. They stood with me. I am really indebted to them and I will not let them down,” he said in Kochi.

 

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