Indian pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth said Tuesday he was dreaming of playing in the 2019 World Cup after a court lifted a life ban imposed over a match-fixing scandal.
The 34-year-old knows he faces a tough battle after four years in the wilderness, but he said he was inspired by the successful comeback of Pakistan´s Mohammad Amir from a fixing ban.
The Kerala state high court lifted Sreesanth´s ban on Monday, saying the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had not proved his role in the 2013 Indian Premier League scandal.
Sreesanth said his first target would be to play games for Glenrothes in the Scottish league, and then Kerala state, as he bids to fight back into the Indian team.
“My dream is to play 2019 World Cup for India,” Sreesanth told The Times of India in an interview. “But I know it is next to impossible and it would be a miracle if I play in that World Cup. But I have always believed that miracles can happen.
“There might be stiff competition for fast bowlers´ spots now. But there was competition even when I made my way into the Indian team. “I have always felt that competition gets the best out of me. I just hope that I can do justice to my talent on my comeback.”
The BCCI has not made any comment on the ruling. It could appeal to a national court, or accept the verdict and let Sreesanth return.
The 2013 IPL season was mired in controversy after police launched legal proceedings against several officials and three Rajasthan Royals players, including Sreesanth, for illegal betting and spot-fixing. All three were cleared of spot-fixing charges by a New Delhi court in 2015, but Sreesanth´s life ban by the BCCI remained in place until Monday´s ruling.—Agencies