BCCI Ombudsman Justice DK Jain has reduced the life ban of cricketer S Sreesanth to seven years. Banned for his alleged involvement in spot fixing during the IPL in 2013, the former Indian pacer had been suspended, but now will be able to play all forms of cricket from September 13 2020.
The Supreme Court had earlier set aside the life ban that had been imposed by the BCCI, and had requested the ombudsman to come up with the quantum of punishment within three months.
Jain also argued that Sreesanth complied with all the inquiries and states that the BCCI should not contest the verdict, as the cricketer has not substantially harmed IPL’s brand value. “In the report of the Commissioner there is no allegation that Mr. Sreesanth did not co-operate in the Inquiry. Additionally, the BCCI has not been able to controvert the specific plea of Mr. Sreesanth that the offences allegedly committed by him did not substantially damage the commercial value of the IPL matches, or even the final result of the subject match,” the Omudsman says.
It also observes that the BCCI has no proof that the cricketer’s conduct was erratic both on and off the field. “Although the BCCI has referred to his erratic behaviour, both on and off the field, with fellow players, but nothing has been brought on record by the BCCI to show that any sanction was imposed on him in the past. On the contrary, he was regularly participating in the national and international matches,” the order says.
“Even other wise, 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 Mr. 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 13.09.2013, i.e. the date from which, the period of ban imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had commenced, will meet the ends of justice. 22. It is ordered accordingly,” the order concludes.
The order, however, will not have an effect on the criminal proceedings that are pending against Sreesanth in the Delhi High Court.