Barely three days before the Cricket Festival in Bahrain (Friday 19th May), the ICC (International Cricket Council) has barred the BCCI-banned pacer S. Sreesanth to participate.
The hand-outs released by the organisers had S. Sreesanth’s name along with India’s others players, most of them busy in the ongoing IPL season, Irfan Pathan, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh.
In a letter to the organisers, a copy accessed by this reporter, Clive Hitchcock, the ICC official has confirmed, “I am writing to confirm that ICC has agreed to sanction the Bahrain Cricket Festival 2017 match”.
“You must ensure that no banned players participate in the match”.
The “sad news” to the 35-year-old Sreesanth was conveyed on 15th May.
In 2013, the BCCI had life-banned S. Sreesanth for the alleged spot-charges.
“Sreesanth’s last hope to play anywhere, in India or outside now rests on the outcome of the court verdict on May 22. If he doesn’t win battle there, will have to look at the other options”, the source close to Sreesanth, said. “He will cross one bridge at a time”.
The fresh list of participating players submitted to the ICC has Irfan Pathan name. Irfan’s brother, Yusuf Pathan, was recently denied BCCI permission to play in Hong-Kong.
The list also includes Misbah ul Haq, Sohail Tanveer, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazar (all Pakistanis), Marlon Samuels (WI), Tilakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) and Bangladeshi Mohammad Ashraful, who has completed the suspension period.
The Cricket Festival is being played under the patronage of the Royal Family of Bahrain.