India bid to reinstate Sreesanth fixing ban

S. Sreesanth, whose acquittal by the Kerala High Court and the subsequent lifting of the life ban is being challenged by BCCI, is seen in this file photo.

NEW DELHI — India's cricket board will appeal against a court order that lifted fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's life ban for match-fixing, a senior official said on Friday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not agree with the Kerala state high court order that acquitted Sreesanth for lack of proof, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"We don't agree with the order. It definitely needs to be challenged and within a week the appeal would be filed in the Kerala high court.

"We were always clear on this case as the board is firm on its zero tolerance policy on corruption and match-fixing," the official said.

Sreesanth, 34, slammed BCCI's decision to appeal the verdict and vouched to play again for the country. "Cmon @bcci this is worst u can do to anyone that too who is proven innocent not just once but again and again... don't know why u doing this?" the cricketer tweeted.

"@bcci I'm not begging, I'm asking to give my livelihood back. It's my right. U guys are not above God. I will play again."

Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals players were banned for life over alleged involvement in betting and spot-fixing following a 2013 scandal in the Indian Premier League. Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested along with scores of bookies as part of a probe into allegations that players had under-performed in return for cash.

Criminal charges were later dropped, but the players remained banned for breaching the BCCI's code of conduct. On the day of the court ruling Monday, Sreesanth had said he was hoping to get his career back on track and represent India at the next World Cup in 2019.

Sreesanth, who is 13 short of 100 Test wickets, has played 27 Tests and 53 One-Day Internationals since making his debut in 2005. — AFP