Former Indian pacer S Sreesanth is set to return to play in the upcoming Ranji Trophy season for Kerala after the Kerala Cricket Association announced they would include Sreesanth in the team if he could prove his physical fitness, reported Asianet News.

Sreesanth who was given a life ban for his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, saw his ban shortened to seven years by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

With the ban ending in September, KCA have announced that Sreesanth will be in the squad and the officials have also spoken with coach Tinu Yohannan.

“Sreesanth will be considered for this year’s Ranji Trophy. We are looking forward to having Sreesanth playing for Kerala again. Everyone in Kerala is also looking forward to that,” Yohannan, also a former India pacer, told PTI.

Yohannan said Sreesanth has enough time to work on his fitness. “His [Sreesanth’s] ban will lifted in September. The good thing is that there is time for him get ready.. He is working hard on his game and his fitness..,” the Kerala coach said.

“Then we will have to assess his physical fitness and game skills. Sree [Sreesanth] is always in the scheme of things...,” he added.

Read: Hope to play for India: Sreesanth dreams of completing 100 Test wickets after life ban is reduced

It remains unclear if the Ranji season will happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but KCA will summon Sreesanth to the camp after his ban ends in September.

“Sreesanth has been in constant touch with me. He has been working hard on his bowling and fitness. However, he has not played competitive cricket for some seven years now, we have to evaluate fitness and skills. But we will be very happy to welcome him back into the Kerala side,” Yohannan said.

Kerala’s lead pacer Sandeep Warrier is likely to play for Tamil Nadu next season, paving the way for Sreesanth to take charge of Kerala’s bowling unit for the upcoming season if he is fit enough to play.