New Delhi: Tainted fast bowler Sreesanth has been found guilty of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League season six by an internal probe conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and has been banned for life - incidentally on Friday the 13th.
Sreesanth - unaware of his fate already sealed - tweeted soon after the news of his ban broke, saying he found it "surprising". "Been tracking the news channels... Me getting a life ban??!! Very surprising," he wrote. The tweet quickly disappeared from his timeline.
Earlier in the day Sreesanth told reporters, "I have presented my side of the story. I have never cheated the game. I have full faith in the judiciary and the BCCI. Hopefully, I will play for the country again. Since childhood, I have always dreamt of playing for India so I will never cheat the game," Sreesanth told reporters after presenting his case to the panel comprising BCCI president N. Srinivasan and vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah."
Here is the timeline of Sreesanth's controversial career that began on Oct 25, 2005 and ended on Friday the 13th, September 2013:
Early signs of aggression
Sreesanth first made headlines during the 2005-06 Challenger Trophy, a domestic 50-over competition, when he walked toward and glared at Sachin Tendulkar after beating the batsman. Tendulkar proceeded to hit the next ball for six and reportedly told Sreesanth to never come so close to him.
First brushes with international match referee
During the Trent Bridge Test of India's tour of England in the summer of 2007, Sreesanth was fined half his match fee for breaching clause 2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play". On the fourth day, Sreesanth was charged for shoulder-barging England captain Michael Vaughan and later pleaded guilty at a hearing convened by the match referee Ranjan Madugalle. In the same Test match, Sreesanth sent down a beamer to Kevin Pietersen which did not go down well with the English team or media - former England captain turned journalist Mike Atherton called for Sreesanth to be banned.
Not so appealing
During the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final between India and Australia at Durban on September 22 2007, Sreesanth was fined 25% of his match fee for excessive appealing. He was found guilty of breaching clause 1.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct during an appeal for an lbw against Matthew Hayden in the fourth over of the innings. Although the umpire instantly turned down the appeal, Sreesanth persisted.
Rubbing the Aussies the wrong way
During Australia's tour of India in 2007, Sreesanth found himself in the middle over several controversies, the biggest of which was a heated confrontation with Andrew Symonds. The matter which really riled the Australians came during the fourth ODI at Mohali when Sreesanth, who ran onto the field as 12th man with drinks, sledged Symonds as he walked back after being dismissed. Symonds has described playing in India as "hostile" and named Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh as the major instigators of on-field conflicts between the two sides.
On April 25, 2008 the IPL was given its first on-field controversy in the form of allegations that Sreesanth was slapped by Harbhajan after a match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians in Mohali. Following Punjab's win, Sreesanth was caught on camera in tears. It was reported that he had approached Harbhajan and told him "hard luck" which prompted the Mumbai and India offspinner to slap him. After a disciplinary hearing, Harbhajan was banned for the remainder of the IPL season and Sreesanth was let off with a warning after video evidence showed Harbhajan slapped him without any provocation. The duo embraced at the end of the hearing after Harbhajan offered an apology in front of the cameras. Harbhajan did appeal against the ban.
BCCI gets strict
In October 2009 the BCCI gave Sreesanth a 'final warning' and threatened him with suspension from domestic cricket in case of further violations of the Code of Conduct after a run-in with Mumbai fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni during the Irani Cup. Sreesanth was fined 60% of his match fee for using offensive language towards Kulkarni.
Sarcasm costs Sreesanth
During the third season of the IPL, Sreesanth found himself in more disciplinary trouble following another instance of him showing dissent towards an on-field umpire. During the third over of Rajasthan Royals' successful chase in Jaipur, Sreesanth was no-balled off consecutive deliveries for overstepping. When Michael Lumb hit the ball over point for four, Sreesanth let out a sarcastic round of applause and then turned to the umpire and clapped to show what he felt about the no-ball call. Sreesanth was subsequently fined 20% of his match fee.
Warning from the KCA
In July 2010, Sreesanth was warned of disciplinary action by the Kerala Cricket Association if he criticized the board's functioning again. Sreesanth had reportedly expressed his views on the functioning of the KCA and mulled playing for different state side. His comments came after he was included in Kerala's 25-man preliminary squad but not named captain.
Not so cool in Cape Town
On the fourth day of the third test between India and South Africa at Cape Town in January 2011, Sreesanth was fined 10% of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. He pleaded guilty to committing a Level 1 offence, relating to "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings." Following two turned down appeals off his bowling, Sreesanth kicked the boundary. The act did not go unnoticed and the on-field umpires Simon Taufel and Ian Gould, the third umpire Brian Jerling and the fourth umpire Shaun George subsequently reported the matter to match referee Andy Pycroft. Sreesanth pleaded guilty and no hearing was required.
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