The karmic cycle of acceptance, rejection and re-acceptance that a sullied athlete goes through is probably tougher than the journey endured to become the champion athlete he once was. The experience can be soul-crushing, for abuses and unfounded disparaging remarks are flung in disproportionate measures infrequently. And while you wait motionless for it to tide over, it takes exemplary courage to also have worked towards remaining in the best physical and mental space to redeem your lost pride. After a virtual incarceration of four long years from the game he loved the most, Sreesanth seems to have finally completed this cycle after he found his name dragged into the IPL spot fixing scandal and arrested subsequently. He is now keen on wringing out every trace of the game that his body has to offer.
But then Sreesanth practices his trade in that part of the world, where the governing body of the game time and again puts itself above the law of the land. It was not long after the HC ruling came in his favor lifting the life ban imposed on him did the BCCI derisively announce its intent to approach the court challenging the order. It is appalling to see the parochial approach and the misplaced priority of an institution, as mighty as it is, to go after someone who is looking to earn his livelihood again by plying his skills. That BCCI cares two hoots about setting its own house in order with regards to the implementation of the Lodha panel recommendations and its oblique submissions at the SC when asked about its plans to fall in line itself shows its disregard and the unwillingness of its few members to give up the cricketing sinecures.
Sreesanth even resorted to pleading with the BCCI on Twitter ‘begging for mercy’. Suddenly, his achievements seem to have been dismissed, the fact that the charges are yet to be proven in court overlooked, encouraging the cricketing world to stare at him virulently until he comes out ‘clean’. All this by a governing body that went into a huddle when the match-fixing cloud moved over to hover around ‘bigger players’ and ensured the finger of suspicion remained elsewhere and the mysteries ‘sealed in a cover’.
For Sreesanth, at least his fight has come at a time when the aura of invincibility around BCCI is slowly waning away and with KCA showing its support for the bowler ever so slightly. The SC’s rap on the knuckles of the BCCI, albeit a different case, couldn’t have come at a better time for Sreesanth. But for him to become the first ‘tainted’ cricketer in India to be reinstated into the mainstream scheme of things, a host of factors needs to sway his way. Even the BCCI.