Remember this guy? His ban has been reduced

S Sreesanth

S Sreesanth

Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's ban for alleged spot-fixing has been reduced to seven years, with the sanction period coming to an end on 13 September 2020, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have said. This comes five months after the Supreme Court of India "set aside" the BCCI ban - originally for life - and asked the board to "reconsider" and "revisit" the length of any fresh ban, preferably within three months.

S Sreesanth is mighty happy after his ban for alleged spot-fixing was lifted by the BCCI on Tuesday.

Sreesanth, who was arrested by the Delhi Police on charges of spot-fixing during the 2013 IPL and was banned for life by the BCCI, challenged the punishment.

He said there were allegations that Rs 10 lakh was paid to Sreesanth for conceding 14 runs in his second over in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab at Mohali in May 2013.

The Supreme Court's directive to BCCI's disciplinary committee was what cleared the decks for Sreesanth's return.

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Before reaching his judgement, the BCCI ombudsman had in detail head the lawyers of both Sreesanth and BCCI. Menon added the spot-fixing scandal itself had no material or commercial impact on the tournament in 2013. By the time he is free to play, he will be well past 37 years.

Justice Jain agreed with the BCCI's "zero tolerance" approach to corruption, but noted: "Nevertheless, as observed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the Remand Order, zero tolerance approach can not dilute consideration of the relevant factors while imposing sanction under Article 6 of the Code".

In response, the BCCI argued that a life ban was just for Sreesanth for the various aggravating factors. BCCI also argued that a reduction in ban will dent public confidence. On the contrary, he was regularly participating in the national and global matches. Sreesanth's on-field antics and sledging reportedly infuriated the off-spinner. That will make him guilty only of the least punishable offence. "I am, therefore, convinced that mitigating circumstances are attracted in the instant case".

BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain ordered that the two-time World Cup-winner's suspension be amended to seven years and he be allowed to play next year.

The order further adds, "Mr Sreesanth is already facing a ban for nearly 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".

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