India’s one of the most aggressive and successful fast bowler, Sreesanth has finally made a comeback to the cricket world after ages but as a leg spinner.
The spot-fixing incident during the IPL in 2013 had led the BCCI to impose a lifetime ban on Sreesanth from playing cricket. Ever since then, fans have been missing to watch India’s veteran pacer shattering wickets and silencing the opposition with his aggression on the field.
Sreesanth was a part of the World cup 2011 winning team which was then captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The ban imposed after that kept him away from the field but did not diminish his love for cricket as he wishes to don the blue jersey again in the upcoming world cup in 2023.
The ban has finally come to an end and we are finally able to see Sreesanth playing for the Kerala team in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. He revealed that it was indeed an emotional moment for him as he had almost lost hopes of playing cricket again and now is motivated enough to win back the lost confidence amongst all his fans.
His first wicket after a long comeback came against Puducherry with a brilliant pace delivery. However, his second wicket has created headlines all over as he has clearly gone out of the way to achieve it.
Sreesanth copies Anil Kumble in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021
In an Elite group E match against Andhra Pradesh, Sreesanth was not seen in his usual avatar storming towards the batsman with a long run-up. Rather, he was seen copying the legendary leg spinner of India, Anil Kumble. He was seen bowling to the Andhra batsmen as a leg spinner much to everyone’s astonishment.
Watch the video here :
This sudden transition from a pacer to a leg spinner did work wonders for him as he was successful in bagging a wicket as well. It was like treating the fans with something new other than the usual delivery of pace balls and aggression.
This avatar of Sreesanth although helped him pick a wicket but it was not sufficient enough to take Kerala over the line. Sreesanth’s spin spell read 25/1 in 03 overs as Andhra Pradesh won the match by 6 wickets with 03 overs to spare. Losing the toss and being invited to bat first, the Kerala team managed to put up just 112 runs at the end of 20 overs which the Andhra team happened to chase with ease.
Kerala team suffer their first loss in the tournament after 03 consecutive wins and are currently placed second in the points table with 12 points. Andhra Pradesh on the other hand secure their first win and find themselves in the penultimate position with just 04 points.
Sreesanth’s interview after the match
“As a fast bowler, I will be creating history. We all know that I like to create history. I am not just looking at the season ahead but at the next three years. My real goal is to be on the 2023 World Cup team and win the cup. It is true that this is the kind of age when there is nothing much left to achieve in sports. Despite that, someone like Leander Paes won a grand slam at 42. Roger Federer is another prime example.”
Kerala team has never won the trophy and with a new team performing brilliantly, Sreesanth is very much apprehensive of creating history this time. “Life is coming full circle now. Kerala has never won this tournament previously. However, we have a very good team now and anything is possible. I am really excited to be part of this unit. Also, it is a pleasure to play under the guidance of coach Tinu Yohannan.”
He also explained the significance of using a different jersey number this time and dedicated the same to his family. “This time I will be wearing number 369 at the back of my shirt instead of 36. Nine because my daughter Srisanvika, who was born on the 9th of May. Srisanvika means Lakshmi. Everyone knows my wife’s name is Bhuvneshwari Kumari. She is called ‘Nayan’ at home. So it sounds like nine too. This is the actual reason why I have decided to wear jersey number 369.”
With so much energy and enthusiasm infused, Sreesanth looks to be on the right track towards his goal. However, time would be playing a crucial part in his venture and it would be interesting to watch how everything pans out.