S Sreesanth, who was banned for life by the BCCI for his involvement in the match fixing scandal in the recently concluded IPL, had written a letter to the Disciplinary Committee and claimed that he is innocent. He had also stated that his confession to the police in the whole affair was given under a lot of stress. The Kerala seamer said that he had been forced to issue the statement after the police had threatened him that his family members would be arrested as well. He has further pointed out that the police did not have any confession that was provided willingly by him. Sreesanth has complained in the letter that he was harassed physically and mentally by the police so that they could get him to sign on the said statements.
In his letter the banned seamer has pointed out that the conclusion at which Ravi Sawani, the head of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, arrived was based on conjectures, inferences, guess work and police statement that cannot be accepted because of the grounds on which it was taken. Incidentally the letter had been submitted to the BCCI before the Disciplinary Committee hearing. Sreesanth has stated that the police are yet to come up with any evidence of any conversation between him and others to prove the charges that have been brought against him.
He has also said that the charges are unjustifiable and prejudiced since he did not have any chance to refute the same. He has also termed the whole situation to be a pretty stressful one since there is not much evidence against him, in his opinion. Sreesanth feels there is no evidence against him as far as wanting, taking, providing or consenting to any bribe is concerned. He has also stated in the letter that the charges brought against him are based on media reports that cannot be termed reliable in any way.
In that letter he has also stated that it will be very distressing for him if his cricketing career came to an end owing to media reports, generalized perceptions, suspicion and statements extracted from the others who have been accused. Regarding the allegation that he had issued a signal to the bookies using a towel and also stretching afterwards and gave 14 runs in an over in the same match he said it was not unusual to perform either of the actions before the start of an over. He also said that the conditions of Mohali, where the match took place, during April-May make it necessary to use towels.
In the letter he has also pointed out that there is sufficient photographic evidence of the fact that he has used white towels in his previous matches, which is true indeed in my opinion. He has said that what is being termed as warming up is essentially something that he does before every match. As far as giving 14 runs in an over went he has also pointed out that the fact that he would be asked to bowl that over by the captain was not assured.
Sreesanth has decided to take the legal route and the outcome of the proceedings will now be watched with interest. However, I can say that even if he is proved innocent he will never be accepted by the BCCI – if you don’t believe me just take a look at the way the careers of Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja panned out. They too were declared guilty by the BCCI and banned but even when they were discharged of the same they could not come back and play for India or even their regional teams. It looks like Sreesanth might well go down that road.