Kerala batsman and former captain Sachin Baby has welcomed the prospect of pacer S Sreesanth returning to the state side, saying he has been waiting for his comeback for the last seven years.
Sreesanth’s comeback chances received a boost on Thursday when new coach Tinu Yohannan said Kerala would be happy to consider Sreesanth once his ban ends in September, provided he proves his fitness. Sreesanth was banned by BCCI for his alleged role in the IPL spot-fixing saga in 2013.
“I am really very happy because he is a brother to me. For the last seven years, I have been waiting for him to come back into the Kerala side and perform for the team,” Baby said in a chat show Homerun with AV with sports commentator Arun Venugopal on his YouTube channel Gethist Creative.
“Further, we all wanted him to play higher category (level of cricket). So, we even used to train together for the last couple of years and he was helping me a lot. We still work together, practise together, and travel together. We are bonding really well. Even during the last two years when he wasn’t playing and I was the captain, he used to tell me what should be done with the Kerala side and with the players, what our goal ought to be – to play really well at the highest standard. He used to always tell that we should play the Irani Trophy. Whatever he would tell me, I would pass the message along to my team-mates. So when people think I am expressing something, it’s actually a case of my sharing something that Sree tells me.
“He was very keen for the Kerala team and has had a big hand in whatever Kerala cricket has achieved. His prayers and commitment are always there with the Kerala team. Today (June 18) the Kerala probables have been announced and he is there in the probables, so I am really very happy.”
There was a viral video last year which showed Sreesanth, 37, dismissing Baby in the nets.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 23, 2019
“The video has gone viral. Whenever he bowls to me, I always get out because of his swing and pace,” he said. “He is still unplayable and we are all waiting [for his return to competitive cricket]. After this Lockdown, if the ground is ready, we are planning to play a game. Match fitness is something very important. It’s rainy season now in Kerala. After July, we are planning to get [hold of] a ground and play a match.”