Calcutta: On a day when Sreesanth told the media in Kochi that he wanted to make a comeback, The Telegraph received a copy of a letter he’s supposed to have given to the BCCI’s disciplinary committee during Friday’s hearing, in New Delhi.
Sreesanth was handed a life ban by the committee.
Sreesanth, in the letter, has said that he “worships cricket” as his mother. “There is no life to me without cricket. I adore it like anything and worship it as my own mother. It will therefore be impossible for a son to sully the image of one’s own mother,” Sreesanth wrote.
He pleaded to be cleared of the “false allegations of aligning with bookies”.
In response to specific charges, he’s responded by noting the following in the letter:
i) Fixing — There is absolutely no reliable material even to find out a charge of fixing against me. What is relied upon is the alleged conversation between my friend Shri Jiju Janardhanan, a fellow cricketer and some others. Shri Jiju Janardhanan is very much familiar with my mannerisms and habit in the cricket field as he knows me from the age of 18. It is not uncommon to use a towel in afternoon matches particularly in a place like Mohali in the month of April-May.
ii) What is alleged as warming up against me is not really warming up, but a manner of play which I did in other plays also.
iii) As regards conceding 14 runs, I may respectfully point out that there was no guarantee that the captain will ask me to bowl in a particular over and if so, depending on the field, the pitch, batsman, etc. the bowler will have to bowl… Conceding runs, therefore, cannot be manipulated as alleged. There is no allegation that in the concerned second over any wide or no ball was bowled.
iv) As regards seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe, there is no trace of evidence pointing out to any such incident at all.
v) There had been no failure or refusal on my part to perform my abilities in the matches as all the balls bowled by me will show I have done my best in bowling on that day also.
vi) The charge of soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing etc… cannot be even indicated against me as there is no trace of evidence.
vii) … No knowledge of any bet can be attributed to me at all by any acceptable evidence.
viii) No gift or payment has ever been received by me and no evidence is available even with the police of any acceptance.
ix) Since there was no breach of conduct in violation of the BCCI rules, there is no need on my part to disclose to the BCCI any such events.
x) It is alleged that Rs 5.5 lakh had been recovered from bookie Abhishek Shukla based on information provided by me and Jiju Janardhanan. While I do not know what Shri Janardhanan said, I have not given any such information. If it has been so recorded, it is false and forcibly obtained.
xi) All the expenses made by me in Jaipur have been spent from my money as will be seen from the statement of accounts maintained by my bank… Every pai that has been spent is my own money.
xii) There is no confession recorded by me willingly to the police. The police have mentally and physically harassed me and obtained signed statements.
Meanwhile, Sreesanth’s lawyer has gone on television to assert that the ban will be challenged “in a court of law”.