Former India cricketer S Sreesanth, who is currently banned from all type of cricket for 2013 spot-fixing case, told the Supreme Court that the life ban on him by BCCI is “too harsh” and he thinks if Mohammad Azharuddin, can be reversed back after being accused of involving in a match-fixing scandal in 2000, then why can’t he? 

On Friday, Sreesanth told the Supreme Court that he has got offers to play English County matches and if this imposed life ban continues on him, he wouldn’t be able to play there. Salman Khurshid, senior advocate, who is appearing for the cricketer, said the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi that the former seamer has been acquitted by the trial court in the spot-fixing case and the life ban should be cancelled.

Moreover, Khurshid added that the other players who were there in the spot-fixing case were banned for 3-5 years but for Sreesanth, it’s a life ban, which is not justified. At 35 years of age, Sreesanth doesn’t have his international cricket career left but he should be allowed to play the club cricket at least.

“Life ban is too harsh. He is already 36. He cannot even play local club cricket because of the ban. He wants to play cricket and he got some offers from England but the offer will disappear if he is not allowed to play,” Khurshid told while pleading the court to allow Sreesanth to play in the English County matches.

The bench of Justices said that the matter will be heard in the third week of January. “We will hear the matter in the third week of January.”

Khurshid further added that former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin was allowed by BCCI to be a part of the Hyderabad Cricket Association after he was given a similar penalty for a match-fixing case.

Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, who is appearing for BCCI, said that BCCI has adopted zero tolerance against the corruption in the game and the life ban cannot be revert back. Moreover, he added that the evidence against Sreesanth was incriminating, for this, the apex cricket body imposed the ban on him.

Sreesanth was imposed on life ban after his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing during the IPL season in 2013. The Delhi Police had arrested him, along with cricketers Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and others on charges of spot-fixing. 36 were accused in the spot-fixing case, including Sreesanth, Chavan, and Chandila were let-off by the trial court in July 2015.

Though later Delhi Police challenged the verdict in the Delhi High Court, BCCI refused to alter the decision after the verdict. Last year, a single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court lifted the life ban imposed on Sreesanth but a petition filed by BCCI again caused the life ban on him which was restored by the division bench of the high court.

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