Observing that Indian pacer S. Sreesanth has undergone a ban for alleged spot-fixing for almost six years, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman, Justice (retd) DK Jain has ordered the restriction to end in August 2020.
"Sreesanth is already facing a ban, for almost a period of six years now, which bars him from playing cricket or participating in any event, with which the BCCI is, directly or indirectly, associated. Even otherwise, for Mr. Sreesanth, who is now in his late thirties, his prime years as a cricketer, particularly as a fast bowler may already be over. Bearing in mind, all these factors, I am of the view that banning Sreesanth from participating in any kind of commercial cricket or from associating with any activities of the BCCI or its affiliates, for a period of seven years with effect from September 13, 2013, i.e. the date from which the period of ban imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had commenced, will meet the ends of justice," the Ombudsman said in his August 7 order.
The BCCI had banned Sreesanth for life in August 2013 for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal that rocked the 2013 Indian Premier League. On March 15, the Supreme Court had quashed the BCCI disciplinary committee's order that imposed a life ban on Sreesanth and directed the committee to take action. At this, the BCCI had told the court that since its disciplinary committee, which had dealt with Sreesanth's matter, was not operational any more, the matter should be decided by the ombudsman appointed by the Supreme Court.
In April, the apex court had given the ombudsman three months to decide on the quantum of punishment. It had also said that its decision shall not have a bearing on the criminal proceedings pending against Sreesanth in the Delhi High Court. The Delhi Police had moved the High Court against a trial court order which discharged all the accused, including Sreesanth, in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Earlier, a single judge bench of the Kerala High Court had struck down the life ban imposed on the cricketer by the BCCI and also quashed all proceedings against him. However, a division bench of the Kerala High Court restored the ban. Sreesanth moved the Supreme Court against the order.