Everyone loves to follow their idol and so did Indian paceman S Sreesanth on the fateful day of May 5, 2013, during an Indian Premier League match. But unfortunate for Sreesanth, it changed his life forever, that is what he claimed.
Fours years ago, Sreesanth found himself amid allegations of spot fixing, alongside fellow Rajasthan Royals players Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. Following the incident, he was suspended and later arrested. It was only two weeks ago that Kerela High Court lifted the lifetime-ban imposed by BCCI.
Narrating through the incident to Wisden Cricket, the Kerela-based cricketer said that during the match, he had tucked in the towel because he idolised South African legend Alan Donald. He added that it was to keep up his spirit when his career seemed to be tumbling downhill.
“They said Jiju (Janardhan) apparently said I would either keep an arm band or towel or vermilion or something like that. I used to do all that because I love Allan Donald,” he told Wisden India.
“I have done that before too. I would even wear plenty of zinc oxide on my face, like Donald. Does that mean those matches were fixed too? Is it a crime to be superstitious? I believed that wearing those things would help me when I was going through a bad phase in my bowling. In fact, in the first over I asked Kumar Dharmasena (the umpire) if it was okay if I kept a towel. Surely, the stump microphones picked that up. I did that only because it made me feel like Donald,” he added.
“Why would someone fix for Rs10 lakh? If you’re accusing me, say Rs10 crore or something. Why would I jeopardise my career, my life for Rs10 lakh?,” he further said.
Sreesanth now has his eyes set on the 2019 World Cup squad of Team India. Amid all the competition and that the selectors have already started experimenting, Sreesanth feels confident that he can script a comeback.