Written byAyush Gupta
The BCCI Ombudsman Justice (retired) DK Jain made this announcement on Tuesday, as his ban would come to an end in September 2020.
The decision comes five months after the Supreme Court had asked the BCCI to reconsider the length of his ban.
In what is considered to be the worst controversy to date in the IPL, Sreesanth, along with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) were alleged to be involved in spot-fixing in 2013.
Following the allegations, there was an investigation as the three were found guilty of this heinous crime.
The trio was handed a life ban by the BCCI.
"It was thus, pleaded by the Ld. Counsel that having regard to all these factors, Mr. Sreesanth has already suffered sufficient punishment for the alleged offenses and therefore, he does not deserve further sanctions," said Justice Jain in his order.
Justice Jain further pointed out that while the BCCI had reported 'erratic behavior' from the player during their ongoing investigation back then, nothing was brought on record by them.
"On the contrary, he was regularly participating in the national and international matches. In the report of the Commissioner, there is no allegation that Mr. Sreesanth did not co-operate in the inquiry," added Justice Jain.
"Additionally, the BCCI has not been able to controvert the specific plea of Mr. Sreesanth that the offenses allegedly committed by him did not substantially damage the commercial value of the IPL matches, or even the final result of the subject match," continued Justice Jain.
While Justice Jain went onto bring the ban down to seven years, he added that Sreesanth's prime years are already over.
"I am of the view that banning Mr. Sreesanth from participating in any kind of commercial cricket or from associating with any activities of the BCCI or its affiliates, for a period of seven years with effect from 13/09/2013," he concluded.
Meanwhile, following the reduction of his ban to seven years, Sreesanth expressed delight and relief, while he was happy that his efforts have finally bore fruit.
"It's God's grace that I have finally managed to come out of this and hopefully, I can be active in cricket again," he was quoted as saying to MyKhel.
While it could be a breather for Sreesanth, it is still not sure how Sreesanth would find his way back to competitive cricket.
Meanwhile, the author strongly agrees with Justice Jain's opinion that Sreesanth's prime time as a pacer could well be over at the age of 36.
However, it would still be interesting to see if he gets to play the IPL again.
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