If Azharuddin is allowed to return, why not me: Sreesanth to SC
On Friday, S Sreesanth told the Supreme Court that the punishment given for him is "too harsh" and he should be allowed to return to the field as he is already 36.
Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, the lawyer of Sreesanth, told to Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi that Sreesanth has been acquitted by trial court in the spot-fixing case and the life ban should be canceled and he should be allowed to play cricket.
He also said that the names of cricketers who had also cropped up in the IPL spot-fixing scandal were banned for 3-5 years and asked why Sreesanth should have to suffer life ban.
"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 offer from England but the offer will disappear if he is not allowed to play," Khurshid said.
Khurshid said that no other cricketer has been treated in such a harsh manner, pointing out to the case of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who had faced similar punishment after the match-fixing scandal.
BCCI allowed Azharuddin to contest for the post of president of Hyderabad Cricket Association, Sreesanth said.
Senior advocate Parag Tripathi said there should be no tolerance against any kind of corruption and malpractices in cricket and the harsh punishment was the right thing to alert other malpractioners.
The bench postponed the hearing and said the Delhi High Court should first decide on the appeal filed against Sreesanth's acquittal in the spot-fixing scandal.
The court posted the hearing for third week of January.
Life ban was slapped against Sreesanth after his involvement in spot-fixing during the 2013 IPL season.
The Delhi Police had arrested Sreesanth, along with cricketers Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and others on charges of spot-fixing.
As almost 36 persons accused in the spot-fixing case, including Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila, were let-off by the trial court in July, 2015.
The Delhi Police later challenged the verdict in the Delhi High Court. But BCCI refused to compromise in its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.
A single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court on August 7 last year lifted the life ban imposed on Sreesanth. But a division bench of the high court later restored the ban on a petition filed by BCCI.