S Sreesanth is probably one of India’s most colorful, contemporary cricketers. Recently he was arrested on charges of spot fixing IPL matches.
This comes after a line of new-grabbing moments in his cricketing career.
2006 – It’s the time to disco: Sreesanth’s jig after hitting Andre Nel for a six over long-off is simply unforgettable.
2007 – Best friends with Symonds: Sreesanth couldn’t stay off controversies even when he wasn’t playing. During Australia’s tour to India, he and Andrew Symonds had already had a couple of spats — but Sreesanth took it to another level. During a game which he was sitting out, he got the drinks on the field just when Symonds was dismissed and sledged him.
2007 – Roughing up the English: The match at Trent Bridge will be remembered for Jelly Beans and Sreesanth shoulder-charging Michael Vaughan, bowling a beamer straight at Kevin Pietersen’s head and running through the crease by a couple of feet before unleashing a bouncer from round the wicket at Paul Collingwood. He lost 50 percent of his match fee.
2008 – Slapgate: The IPL‘s inaugural season saw Harbhajan Singh slap Sreesanth after a Kings XI Punjab vsMumbai Indians match — which left the usually angry pacer in tears.
Harbhajan was fined and banned from the rest of the tournament. This event keeps resurfacing almost every time Sreesanth is in the middle of a controversy (including this year).
2009 – Hayden gets a mouthful: Matthew Hayden slammed Sreesanth for three sixes in an over, after which the bowler lost his cool and launched a tirade at the Aussie. Hayden called him an overrated bowler.
2010-11 – Smith fit: Spat with Graeme Smith during the South Africa tour. Even though Sreesanth came up trumps in that duel, it was later revealed that he had got personal with his remarks against Smith and Paul Harris. Sreesanth in response said he was thankful for the verbal duel — which ‘woke him up’. However, MS Dhoni admitted that the player was hard to control.
2012 – Causing a flight delay: A co-passenger in a Bangalore-Delhi flight alleged Sreesanth of ‘boorish behaviour’ on board the aircraft.
TR Ravichandran said that Sreesanth got into a ‘childish argument’ with flight attendants when he was asked not to sit near the emergency exit. Ravichandran said other passengers, including himself, objected to Sreesanth’s behaviour which led to delay in take-off of the flight. Sreesanth denied the allegations and said he hardly had any conversation with the passenger and he knew how to behave in public.
2013 — Twitter rant: The Slapgate controversy resurfaced in this year’s IPL after a newspaper headline riled the pacer. He went on a Twitter rant, saying that he was disgusted with the event being brought up again and again. He also called Harbhajan a backstabber and said that the IPL video would show what really happened. The BCCI then issued a warning to Sreesanth for his outburst.
In Kerala, Sreesanth has been iconic, despite his emotional outbursts, after being one of the few players from the state to make it into the Indian team and was part of the T20 World Cup squad.
Expectedly the reaction from Kerala has been one of shock with few willing to believe the headlines that are flashing on their television screens.
“Well it’s sad, he’s a very fine player. He’s been the pride of Kerala. He’s a very fine cricketer, I’ve known him personally,” Minister of State for HRD and Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor said.“You know there is a maxim that one is innocent until one is proven guilty. So let us not judge his guilt until the proof has been provided, the courts have gone through the process, his defence is heard. I’m not prepared to condemn him until there is a conclusive determination of guilt. All I can say that it is a very sad day for those of us who like Sreesanth and his contribution to cricket,” Tharoor said.
Sreesanth’s father alleged on Malayala Manorama news channel that he was trapped due to a joint conspiracy by Dhoni and Harbhajan.
“Since he spoke against Harbhajan on Twitter, they had decided to take him out, ” his father said.“Dhoni had threatened him that he would never be taken back in the test side.” His brother in law, Madhu Balakrishnan, a prominent south Indian playback singer, said that the trap was a plot to destroy Sreesanth’s marriage plans.Sreesanth is highly principled and pious and cannot do this, his mother said.“He is innocent, this is a conspiracy to defame him,” his mother told CNN-IBN.