Kerala fast bowler S Sreesanth’s seven-year ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for involvement in spot-fixing scandal ended on Sunday.
From Monday, the 37-year-old fast bowler is free to play cricket.
“I have got freedom, freedom to play again. It’s a massive relief. I don’t think anyone else will understand what it means to me,” Sreesanth told The Times of India.
However, Sreesanth’s hopes of a comeback have been dampened due to the Covid-19 pandemic that could lead to the cancellation of India’s domestic season.
“After a long wait, I can play again but there is no place to play in the country now. I even planned to organise a local tournament in Kochi this week so that I could step on to the field but decided against it looking at the risks involved, as the number of coronavirus cases in Kerala is increasing,” Sreesanth said.
The lack of options has also led to the veteran pacer considering thoughts of retirement that he later decided to dismiss.
“From last May, I have put my heart and soul into training... looking forward to playing again. So when I read reports suggesting that the domestic cricket in India may be a non-starter this season, I was shattered. I even thought of quitting the game. But then I thought I wouldn’t be doing justice to myself as all the efforts I have made to play the game again for all these years would have gone down the drain.” he added.
The right-hand fast bowler may look for stints abroad if the domestic season in India is cancelled.
The 37-year-old last played for India in 2011 during the tour to England but last year had claimed he still harbours hopes of a return.
“I hope I will be able to come back into the Indian Test team. I have taken 87 wickets in Test cricket. 13 more wickets are required to reach 100 wickets,” he said.
The fast bowlers played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India and was part of India’s 2007 World T20 winning squad.