New Delhi: When Sreesanth arrived for the meeting at a city hotel on Friday morning, he looked to be under a lot of tension. Accompanied by a friend, the fast bowler, in a black jeans and white shirt, quickly stepped into the elevator giving little time to the battery of photographers waiting for him.
Perhaps the tainted bowler was aware that he could be reduced to a former cricketer in a few hours time. What transpired at the disciplinary committee meeting was not known then, but the Rajasthan Royals player tried his best to put up a brave face.
“All the disciplinary committee members were very co-operative and it went off well,” a confident Sreesanth said after deposing before the three-member BCCI committee. “I gave them my side of the story. I had no arguments with anyone at the meeting.
“Since my childhood, I always dreamt about playing for India. As a cricketer I would never cheat in a game,” he said.
“They haven’t said anything about a ban. I have full faith in the judiciary as well as the BCCI and I will come clean on this whole issue,” added the 30-year-old.
Asked what he had to say on Ravi Sawani’s report, Sreesanth said: “I don’t want to talk on this subject.”
“A lot has been said and done in my name but all I want is to start playing for India again. Everyone appeared before the committee and I was the last to appear.”
Soon after news of his ban broke, Sreesanth tweeted, saying he found it “surprising”. “Been tracking the news channels... Me getting a life ban??!! Very surprising,” he said. The tweet was deleted soon after.
The fate of the cricketers implicated in the scandal was up for discussion by the disciplinary committee which deliberated on Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani’s report.
The Telegraph had reported on July 29 that Sawani’s interim report believed that Sreesanth got “sucked into spot-fixing” and “wasn’t himself a key figure.
“The impression I get is that Ajit Chandila and Amit Singh were the kingpins of the racket... Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan got sucked into spot-fixing,” a source, who had access to the report, said.
But all that changed when the final report was submitted. Compared to Sreesanth, spinner Ankeet Chavan’s entry and exit from the hotel was a relatively low key affair.
Accompanied by his father, he was one of the firsts to appear for the disciplinary hearing and arrived almost unnoticed.