I still believe I can play the 2023 World Cup: Sreesanth

I still believe I can play the 2023 World Cup: Sreesanth

Sreesanth, who played his last international match in 2011, might comeback this year with Kerala cricket team.

S. Sreesanth
S. Sreesanth. (Photo Source: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sreesanth was one of the most talented fast bowlers India had at the time of his debut in international cricket. However, spot-fixing allegations made him distant from cricket in the last few years. As his ban ends in September, the Kerala pacer is still dreaming about a comeback to the national team. The 37-year-old also thinks he can play in the 2023 Cricket World Cup, which will be played in India.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had banned Sreesanth for life in August 2013. This had happened in the aftermath of his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. A special court in Delhi had acquitted him of all charges in 2015.

Recently, the fast bowler was also named in the provisional squad of Kerala for the upcoming domestic season. As a matter of fact, the head coach of Kerala, Tinu Yohanan has said that Sreesanth will be considered for selection if he proves his fitness. This may have come as a surprise to some people, but for the ageing fast bowler, it is a massive boost.

If you don’t have unrealistic goals, you’re going to be mediocre: S Sreesanth

“I still believe I can play in the 2023 World Cup. I firmly believe that. One of the things he taught me was to be unapologetically me. I was always unrealistic with my goals but that’s with most athletes. If you don’t have unrealistic goals, you’re going to be mediocre,” Sreesanth told Deccan Herald.

The two-time World Cup winner had to go through a lot before his ban got revoked. In 2018, the Kerala High Court had taken down the life ban which was given to the cricketer by the BCCI. They also removed all proceedings against him. However, that was restored by a particular division bench of the High Court.

The cricketer then moved to the Supreme Court. In March of 2019, the Supreme Court asked BCCI to reduce the punishment. Finally, his lifetime ban was reduced to seven years.

“I fully immersed myself in the routine of working out to avoid depressive phases. In fact, I tried my hand at MMA too in between because my anger and stress needed some outlet. I couldn’t hit anybody so I did the closest thing: hit a punching bag or a mat.”

He has so far played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India. He last featured in an international match in August 2011. He was part of MS Dhoni’s brigade at the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 Cricket World Cup.