S Sreesanth

S Sreesanth played for India. (Source: AP File)
S Sreesanth played for India. (Source: AP File)
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Sachin Tendulkar Congratulates S Sreesanth On Retirement

S Sreesanth, the 39-year-old bowler announced his retirement through a social media post on Wednesday where he admitted that he wants to make way for the younger generation.

Former India cricketer and batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar shared a special message for veteran Indian pacer S Sreesanth who recently retired from all forms of cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

S Sreesanth Was Always Rated A Talented Bowler By Sachin Tendulkar With A Lot Of Skills

Sachin Tendulkar has congratulated S Sreesanth on his career after the former India pacer announced his retirement. S Sreesanth made his comeback to domestic cricket in 2020-21 after his life ban for spot-fixing allegations was lifted and he represented Kerala in two seasons (both white-ball and red-ball cricket).

“Always rated you as a talented bowler with a lot of skills. Congratulations @sreesanthnair36, on representing India over the years. All the very best for your 2nd innings,” wrote Sachin Tendulkar on Instagram as he shared a picture with Sreesanth. 

S Sreesanth
S Sreesanth (TOI Photo)

S Sreesanth donned the Indian jersey in 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is during his international career, picking 87, 75 and 7 wickets respectively. The veteran cricketer last featured in a game for India in 2011 and was also part of the victorious 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup teams.

Explanation his decision to hang the boots, S Sreesanth had written, “It has been an honor to represent my family, my teammates, and the people of India. Nd everyone who loves the game. With much sadness but without regret, I say this with a heavy heart: I am retiring from the Indian domestic (first class and all formats) cricket.”

“For the next generation of cricketers..I have chosen to end my first class cricket career. This decision is mine alone, and although I know this will not bring me happiness, it is the right and honorable action to take at this time in my life. I’ve cherished every moment,” he added.

S Sreesanth, who made his comeback to Indian cricket in the 2020/21 season, played all three formats for Kerala. In the 2021/22 season, he only played one Ranji Trophy fixture before retiring.

In September 2020, his ban for alleged spot-fixing came to an end, concluding a seven-year punishment that was originally meant to be for life and was aggressively contested by the flamboyant bowler. His life ban for alleged spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the IPL was reduced to seven years by BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain last year.

S Sreesanth Is A Two Time World Cup 2007(T20I)  And 2011 (ODI) Winner

Sachin Tendulkar has become the latest cricketer to wish S Sreesanth and has congratulated him in his post. Sachin Tendulkar was part of the playing XI in the pacer’s maiden Test, ODI and T20I. They were teammates at the 2011 World Cup, which the Men in Blue won with a win over Sri Lanka in the final. S Sreesanth is a two-time World Cup winner and was also part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad.

File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
The 39-year-old S Sreesanth scalped 87 wickets in 27 Tests, 75 scalps in ODIs and 7 wickets in T20Is. The pacer played his last Test match against England in 2011.
S Sreesanth came close to earning a recall in 2013 but couldn’t return. In IPL, he represented Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Besides, alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League resulted in a ban for the pacer which was subsequently uplifted in 2019.
Photo: Mohammed Azharuddin/Instagram
Photo: Mohammed Azharuddin/Instagram
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Mohammed Azharuddeen Hopeful Of Being Picked In IPL 2022 Auction And Play For RCB Again

Mohammed Azharuddeen, the young wicket-keeper batsman from Kerala, was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore at his base price of Rs. 20 lakh in the February 2021 player auction. Though he didn’t get a single game to play last season, the 27-year-old, whose name will once again be called at the auction table this time, is hopeful of getting an IPL contract.

Named after India’s finest batsman Mohammed Azharuddin who was India’s former skipper and veteran of 99 Tests and 334 ODIs till match-fixing controversy saw him banned for life, Kerala’s opening batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen managed to lit up the 2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Mohammed Azharuddeen
Mohammed Azharuddeen was part of the RCB squad last season. File photo: KCA

Mohammed Azharuddeen Hopeful Of Being Picked In IPL 2022 Auction

Thirteen Kerala players will be up for grabs. S Sreesanth, Sachin Baby, Vishnu Vinod, S Midhun, M D Nidheesh, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Rohan S Kunnummal, Sijomon Joseph, Basil Thampi, Shoun Roger, KM Asif, and outstation professionals Robin Uthappa and Jalaj Saxena made it to the final list. Star Kerala batter Sanju Samson was retained as captain by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for a whopping Rs 14 crore.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

“Practice is on in full swing. I have worked a lot on my batting and technique. I am hopeful that I will be picked at the auction and will again get a chance to share the dressing room with seniors and star players from across the world. I know how good I am in T20s. I am staying positive about the auction,” Mohammed Azharuddeen said in an exclusive interview.

While the first step towards fulfilling his family’s dream was taken when he was chosen to represent Kerala in 2015, he shot into the national limelight recently with his 37-ball 100 in the domestic T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Mumbai. The wicket-keeper batsman played 22 first-class matches, 36 List A games and 31 T20 games since 2015. He has a solitary first-class ton besides the talked about a ton in T20.

Mohammed Azharudeen Want To Play For RCB Again And Admitted Sharing Dressing Room With Virat Kohli And AB de Villiers Was A Great Accomplishment

At RCB, Mohammed Azharudeen, who is also known as ‘junior Azhar’ among his friends and teammates, got the chance to pick the brains of star players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Glenn Maxwell.

“I am a big fan of Virat bhai and want to play for RCB again. There was a luck factor involved and it was an honour to be with Virat bhai, ABD, Maxwell, and all the other RCB players. This time there are two new teams also and I am hopeful that I will be picked by someone. My thoughts are open and whichever team picks me, I am going to give my hundred percent for that team,” Mohammed Azharuddeen said.

“You will see a different Azhar in this year’s IPL. I have changed a lot of things in my batting and technique. I gained a lot of confidence from last season. Sharing the dressing room with Virat bhai and ABD was a big thing. I got to learn a lot from Virat bhai. He gave me a lot of batting tips,” Mohammed Azharuddeen added.

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Whenever these three guys (Virat, de Villiers and Maxwell) would hit the practice session, I would stand in a corner and observe their game. The way they connect their bats with the ball, with a lot of confidence, is amazing. The energy and confidence towards the game Virat bhai or ABD showed is just of another level.”

“You can learn a lot by just observing them. I spoke with Virat bhai a couple of times personally. I asked him a lot of things about batting and he was happy to help me. He said ‘Dil se khelo’,” the Kerala batsman signed off.

With Rs. 57 crore in their purse RCB has the opportunity to start afresh and the early signs are that they’re on the right track, having identified a solid core by retaining Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammad Siraj before IPL 2022 mega auction.

S Sreesanth
S Sreesanth (Credits: Twitter)

Sreesanth Included In Kerala’s Ranji Trophy Squad

Pacer S Sreesanth has been included in Kerala’s Ranji Trophy Squad as they announced a 20-member squad for India’s premier first-class tournament. 33-year old batsman Sachin Baby has been captain of the team while the wicketkeeper Vishnu Vinod was named his deputy for the tournament.

Notable that Ranji Trophy is making the return in India‘s domestic cricket calendar. It was cancelled last season and even in this season it was originally scheduled to start on January 13 but it was postponed due to another covid outbreak.

File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.

Sreesanth last time played a first-class game in 2013

Now Kerala has been placed in Group A along with Meghalaya, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh as they will play their games in Rajkot. Last time in 2019-20, they couldn’t go past the league stage of the tournament.

They will miss the services of Sanju Samson who is currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru as he is recovering from an injury. He will join the squad once he gets fit.

Meanwhile, Sreesanth who last played a first-class game in 2013, would make a return in the longer format. Last year he returned with decent numbers in Vijay Hazare Trophy as he picked a fifer and 4-fer. He also represented Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali. He played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs, and 10 T20Is for India before he was banned due to a spot-fixing case with Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2013.

Sreesanth Included In Kerala's Ranji Trophy Squad 1
Ranji Trophy

Interestingly the wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen who scored a T20 hundred last season for Kerala missed out from the squad. He was also picked by RCB in the 2021 auction. Anand Krishnan, Fanoos F, Varun Nayanar, and Eden Apple Tom are some of the new faces in the squad.

Notable that the league stage of the tournament will finish before the IPL while knockout games will be played in May-June.

Kerala squad: Sachin Baby (C), Vishnu Vinod (VC & WK), Anand Krishnan, Rohan Kunnumel, Vatsal Govind, Rahul P, Salman Nizar, Jalaj Saxena, Sijomon Joseph, Akshay KC, Mithun S, Basil NP, Nideesh MD, Manu Krishnan, Basil Thampi, Fanoos F, Sreesanth S, Varun Nayanar, Vinoop Manoharan, Eden Apple Tom

Also read Wriddhiman Saha Opts Out Of Bengal’s Ranji Trophy Squad After Being Told He Won’t Be Picked For Sri Lanka Home Tests

Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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I’ve No Complaints Against MS Dhoni, I Have Complaint To The BCCI: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh, the former India spin legend opened up on the final stages of his international career and how the lack of support from the BCCI and ‘external factors’ pushed him out of the national reckoning despite the speed with which he was moving ahead as a bowler, following his retirement.

Not shy of taking names, Harbhajan Singh pointed out how MS Dhoni enjoyed unmatched support from the board unlike other players and how there’s a possibility of many villains should a biopic be made on his career someday.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

Harbhajan Singh Has Been Good Friends With MS Dhoni

The remarks raised eyebrows and gave more credence to the rumours surrounding his alleged frosty relationship with MS Dhoni. However, in an exclusive conversation, Harbhajan Singh has dismissed any such notions and claims he in fact has been good friends with the legendary captain with which he won the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup.

“Very nice. I am not married to him!” pat came Harbhajan’s reply when enquired about his rapport with Dhoni.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

When pressed further on his recent comments on MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh said it’s not in his control how others interpret his quotes but did question the way things changed post-2012 – and not just for him but other star players of that era.

“See, everyone interprets a quote differently. I just wanted to convey that a lot of things could have been better post 2012. (Virender) Sehwag, me, Yuvraj (Singh), (Gautam) Gambhir could have retired playing for Indian team since all of them were active in IPL as well.

“It is ironical that the Champions of the 2011 team never played together again! Why? Only few of them played in 2015 World Cup, why?” he asked.

Harbhajan Singh said he doesn’t have any complaints against MS Dhoni and referred to the legendary wicketkeeper-batter as a “good friend”.

The 2011 World Cup-winning squad of India consisting of superstars like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Zaheer Khan among others made India overwhelming favourites right from the start of the tournament. While contributions came from each individual, Yuvraj Singh had a stunning campaign in particular and swept the Man of the Tournament trophy for his 362 runs and 15 wickets.

Gautam Gambhir was one of the key architects of India’s historic win in the final with an unbeaten 97 off 122 balls. He set the stage for MS Dhoni to seal the victory with an iconic six in the penultimate over. MS Dhoni too played a crucial role in the final with his sublime 91 off 79 balls as he led from the front under pressure.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, and S Sreesanth were the players who were part of the iconic final but never made it together in the XI for another game for India.

Harbhajan Singh Has No Complaints Against MS Dhoni But Has Complaints To The BCCI And Selectors Who Didn’t Do Justice To Their Roles

The 41-year-old does say that while he has no complaints against MS Dhoni, he does have a few questions for the BCCI and selectors of that time.

“No, not at all. I have no complaints against MS. In fact, he has been a good friend all these years. I have complaint to the BCCI, the sarkar (government) of that time. I call BCCI as sarkar! The selectors of that time didn’t do justice to their roles. They didn’t allow the team to be united,” he said.

Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP
Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP

“What was the point of bringing in new guys when the greats were still around and delivering? I once confronted the selectors on this and their reply was it wasn’t in their hands and then I asked why they are the selectors, then?” he added.

Harbhajan Singh has played a lot of cricket under MS Dhoni and was even a member of India’s two World Cup-winning squads – the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. To be precise, Harbhajan Singh has played 31 Tests, 77 ODIs and 25 T20Is under MS Dhoni’s leadership. The off-spinner, however, slowly started to lose his spot to Ravichandran Ashwin post the 2011 World Cup.

File image of Misbah-ul-Haq | Andrew Boyers / Reuters
File image of Misbah-ul-Haq | Andrew Boyers / Reuters
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Misbah-ul-Haq Recalls A Funny Moment From A Test Against Sri Lanka And Opens Up On Miscalculating A Shot In 2007 T20I World Cup Final

Misbah-ul-Haq, who is currently playing in the Legends League Cricket 2022, recently shared a funny incident from a Test against Sri Lanka.

The 47-year-old batsman, who represented Pakistan in 75 Tests, has been part of many historic wins. Speaking on the sidelines of the tournament for the retired cricketers, Misbah-ul-Haq shared an encounter with him and former Sri Lanka captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

Kumar Sangakkara is a cricketer created, rather than born Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara is a cricketer created, rather than born Getty Images

Misbah-ul-Haq Recalls Funny Moment From A Sri Lanka Test

The 47-year-old Misba-ul-Haq shared the encounter where the iconic Sri Lankan duo questioned him for taking “a little bit more time” at the crease while taking guard.

In a video uploaded by the organizers, Misbah-ul-Haq said: “I remember a Test match against Sri Lanka and I was batting. I was taking a little bit more time in the crease to settle down and [Kumar] Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were at me from behind, saying what’s happening man, why are you taking that much time.”

Misbah-ul-Haq- the former head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the former head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

He added: “I just turned around and said I was just taking guard and I started trolling them, saying your openers take 10 second before facing a ball even when the bowlers are ready. The other opener used to check every cricket gear and then kissed the bat before taking guard. That was a funny moment and they were just laughing hiding their faces behind their hands.”

Misbah-ul-Haq has accumulated 5222 runs at an average of 46.62, including 10 centuries and 39 fifties. He has led Pakistan in 56 games, winning 26 of those while 11 ended in a draw.

Misbah-ul-Haq Got Overconfident And Mistimed The Shot As India Won Inaugural T20I World Cup In 2007

The former Pakistan cricketer was an integral member of the middle-order during his playing days. While he won innumerable games for his side, leaving the T20 World Cup at the Wanderers in 2007 against arch-rivals India still haunts him.

Throwing light on the same during a chat with Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah-ul-Haq said: “In 2007, I always say that throughout every game, I scored so many fours playing that shot. Even with the fine leg in place, I was taking singles while playing that shot against Australia. Against spinners, I used to beat fine leg with that shot.”

File pic Misbah-ul-Haq from the 2007 World Cup final vs India.© AFP
File pic Misbah-ul-Haq from the 2007 World Cup final vs India.© AFP

He added: “So, you can say I got overconfident. I mistimed the shot on which I had the most confidence.”

Speaking on the historic game, Mishbah-ul-Haq kept Pakistan in the hunt after they were reduced to 77/6 in 12 overs in pursuit of 153 runs. He took the game deep to bring the equation to 13 runs off the last over. He struck a massive six off Joginder Sharma before scooping one to S Sreesanth positioned at fine-leg to leave the game in the ground.

Misbah-ul-Haq, having almost single-handedly kept Pakistan alive in the final in the later stages of the match, tried to scoop a Joginder Sharma delivery over the fine leg with six runs needed, only to be caught by S Sreesanth.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s scoop shot off Indian pacer Joginder Sharma that landed safely in the palms of S Sreesanth to seal victory for India in the final of the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup is a memory not many Indian cricket fans will be able to forget. Misbah-ul-Haq said that he got overconfident about the shot, having used it to his benefit throughout the tournament.

File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
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S Sreesanth Named In Kerala’s Preliminary Squad For Ranji Trophy 2021/22, To Return To Red-Ball Cricket After 9 Years

S Sreesanth is set for another comeback in domestic cricket after being named in Kerala’s preliminary squad for Ranji Trophy 2021/22. S Sreesanth hasn’t played a red-ball fixture since the 2013 Irani Cup.

Nearly 9 years after his previous red-ball appearance, S Sreesanth looks set to make another comeback to the format as he has been included in Kerala’s preliminary Ranji Trophy squad for the 2021/22 season. S Sreesanth didn’t play any of the white-ball fixtures for Kerala this season. But he now looks set for a mega comeback.

S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram
S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram

S Sreesanth Excited Like U19 Boy After Being Picked In Kerala’s Squad For Ranji Trophy, His Previous Red Ball Match Came During Irani Cup 2013

Reacting to his inclusion in the squad, S Sreesanth said that he is as excited as he was when got the red ball for the first time as a U-19 boy. S Sreesanth had made his first-class debut in the 2002/03 season and made his Test debut against England in 2006. Speaking via video, the 38-year-old thanked fans for their support and stated that it was great to “be back in the whites again”.

“Hi! Good afternoon and thank you very much for the love and support. Its great to be back in the whites again, bowling red ball, that too for my state where it all started”, he said.

“I’m really excited just like the U19 boy who got the red ball for the first time”, he concluded.

S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook
S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook

S Sreesanth’s previous red-ball appearance came in the high-profile final of the Irani Cup 2013. He was part of the Harbhajan Singh-led Rest of India squad, which included the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina among others.

They were up against Abhishek Nayar-led Mumbai. The Mumbai squad included the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shardul Thakur to name a few. Should S Sreesanth make it to the final XI, he will return to 4-day cricket for the first time in 9 years.

After his ban was lifted, S Sreesanth returned to competitive cricket in the 50 over and 20 over domestic trophies. S Sreesanth took 4 scalps in 5 games in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 2020/21 and picked 13 scalps, including a 4 wicket and a 5 wicket haul in 6 games in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020/21 on his return to domestic cricket.

S Sreesanth made his international debut in 2005, in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. He became part of Indian cricketing folklore when he took the catch of Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq to seal the Indian team’s victory in the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup final. He was also part of the playing XI that lifted the 2011 50-over World Cup four years later.

Sachin Baby Named Kerala’s Skipper Which Includes Sanju Samson And Jalaj Saxena

The right-arm pacer has 211 wickets in 73 first-class matches he has played so far. In 27 Tests, he has dismissed 87 batsmen. S Sreesanth’s previous Test appearance for Team India came back in 2011 against England.

Sachin Baby has been named as the captain of the Kerala cricket team for the upcoming tournament. He will be assisted by Vishnu Vinod, who will also don the gloves. Sanju Samson will have much responsibility to score runs. The Kerala squad also includes Jalaj Saxena and Basil Thampi.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Kerala kick off its campaign against Vidarbha on January 13. They will next face Bengal, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Haryana. Kerela will be playing their fixtures in Bengaluru.

In the longer version, his finest moment came when he claimed eight wickets in India’s maiden Test win in South Africa – Johannesburg 2006. S Sreesanth ended his international career with 27 Tests, 53 ODIs, and 10 T20Is, claiming a total of 169 scalps. He picked up 87, 75, and seven wickets respectively.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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Rohit Sharma Opens Up On Unfolded Events During 20th Over Of India’s Win Vs Pakistan In 2007 T20I WC

Rohit Sharma recounted the events that unfolded during the last over of India’s victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. He recollected how teammate Yuvraj Singh turned the other way, afraid to look up as he expected S Sreesanth might drop the catch.

Six runs were required off the final four deliveries when Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq attempted to scoop the ball over the short fine leg off the bowling of Joginder Sharma. S Sreesanth completed the catch on the edge of the circle to clinch the inaugural T20 World Cup title for India.

S Sreesanth Taking A Catch As India Won 2007 T20I WC Pic Source: T20 World Cup
S Sreesanth Taking A Catch As India Won 2007 T20I WC Pic Source: T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma: The Moment Misbah-ul-Haq Played The Shot, Yuvraj Singh Turned Around To Not Watch Fearing S Sreesanth May Drop It

Rohit Sharma narrated the events to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup website. He was fielding at the cover at the time and saw Yuvraj Singh turn around at point as the ball went up.

“I was standing at covers that particular ball. Yuvi was at point. The moment Misbah played that shot, I saw Yuvi turning around. He was not watching because he thought he was going to drop it,” Rohit Sharma said.

Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni celebrate the 2007 T20 World Cup win © Getty Images
Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni celebrate the 2007 T20 World Cup win © Getty Images.

The Indian team for T20I World Cup 2007 was fairly young, captained by a 26-year-old MS Dhoni. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, and Zaheer Khan had opted out of the tournament. MS Dhoni, who was on the rise, was given the reins of the team, and he created history with a bunch of youngsters. India defeated Pakistan in the final, played in Johannesburg, to claim the inaugural T20 World title.

Rohit Sharma Felt Surreal To Be Part Of India-Pakistan Final Match At 2007 T20I WC

The current Indian vice-captain reckons that S Sreesanth wouldn’t have experienced as much pressure in his life as he would have when the ball came at him.

“I was praying that just catch it. He didn’t have to move much. It was just there. He just moved two, three steps back and took it. It was the most pressure catch that he must have taken in his life.”

“At the stadium, you could only see India and Pakistan fans. I think more was India. Now, it feels surreal. It’s just unbelievable what we did on that day.”

2007 World T20 winning Indian team. Credits: Getty Images
2007 World T20 winning Indian team. Credits: Getty Images

The 34-year-old added that performing for India in the World Cup final at that point felt like a dream.

“I was 20 years old at that point and for me, to be in the final of the World Cup, of an inaugural T20 World Cup, was itself a great deal. And then to be playing the finals, and just going out there, scoring runs and taking catches and taking wickets, and seeing all the magic happen on the field was like a dream.”

India and Pakistan will once again face each other in a T20I World Cup when they play their opening match of the Super 12 stage on Sunday in the 2021 edition.

Yuvraj Singh featured in two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195. In the tournament, his 12-ball half-century against England remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad.

With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, he was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup Win after a hiatus of 28 years, and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award.

India squad for T20 World Cup 2007: MS Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Yuvraj Singh (vice-captain), Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, S. Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa

Abhimanyu Mithun. (Photo: PTI)
Abhimanyu Mithun. (Photo: PTI)
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Abhimanyu Mithun, 31, Retires From All Forms Of Cricket

Abhimanyu Mithun, the former India pacer and Karnataka player, announced his retirement on Thursday. Abhimanyu Mithun has announced his retirement from first-class cricket after 12 seasons.

The Karnataka pacer played four Tests (nine wickets) and five ODIs (three wickets), with both his international debuts coming in 2010. Abhimanyu Mithun played 103 first-class matches and bagged 338 wickets at an average of 26.63. He also featured in 96 List A matches and 74 T20 games to pick 205 wickets in the two formats.

Abhimanyu Mithun has retired from cricket at the age of 31-Twitter
Abhimanyu Mithun has retired from cricket at the age of 31-Twitter

Abhimanyu Mithun Played 4 Tests And 5 ODIs In 2010-2011

Abhimanyu Mithun, who started as a discus thrower, made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Galle five months after his ODI debut against South Africa. He also featured in 16 IPL matches, for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, and Sunrisers Hyderabad to end with seven wickets.

“Cricket is a universal game and I believe in finishing at the highest level. So I had to take this decision and seek better opportunities for myself and my family around the world. I am also clear in my mind that Karnataka has abundant fast bowling talent and they would miss out on opportunities at the right time if I prolong my career,” Mithun stated in a letter.

Abhimanyu Mithun also mentioned he had taken this decision to pursue other avenues.

“I have represented my country at the highest level and will always be my highest achievement. The joy and the pride from it is something I’ll cherish throughout my career,” he said.

“It has been my honor to have played for Karnataka and win so many trophies for my state,” Mithun stated in the letter. He also thanked the IPL teams Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who he played for.

Abhimanyu Mithun has represented India in four Tests and five ODIs. He picked up four for 105 in the first innings of his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2010 and the last time wore the India cap in an ODI against West Indies at Chennai in 2011.

Abhimanyu Mithun’s Debut Came At The Expense Of S. Sreesanth In Sri Lanka Tour

He took 338 wickets in 103 First-Class matches, with 12 five-wicket hauls and two 10-wicket match hauls. He also featured in 96 List A matches and 74 T20 games and picked 205 wickets across the two formats. His debut came at the expense of injured S. Sreesanth in the tour of Sri Lanka in July 2010.

Abhimanyu Mithun has played IPL for three teams including RCB (Image Credit: Twitter)
Abhimanyu Mithun has played IPL for three IPL teams, including RCB (Image Credit: Twitter)

His IPL debut came for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009, where he played only one game for the team. In 2010 as well, he played only one match for RCB. In 2011, he got to play 12 games in which he took five wickets at an average of 64.20 and an economy rate of 9.44.

He had a successful first-class and LIST-A career for Karnataka. The 31-year-old played his last Test on the tour of West Indies in June 2011 and played his last ODI in the home series against West Indies in December 2011. He has taken nine wickets in four Tests and three wickets in five ODIs.

S Sreesanth
S Sreesanth (Credits: Twitter)
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Sreesanth Defends Himself In The IPL 2013 Spot-Fixing Case

S Sreesanth, the former India pacer, has finally opened up on the 2013 spot-fixing scandal in the IPL, in which he was banned along with a couple of other players from Rajasthan Royals (RR). However, S Sreesanth has defended himself once again, saying that he wouldn’t do anything stupid for just ten lakh rupees.

He was apparently referring to his alleged involvement in IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal where he was picked up by Delhi Police midway through the tournament. However, the cricketer said he wouldn’t do fixing for such an amount as he was one of the most popular cricketers of the time and even spent a minimum of two lakh rupees on his party bills.

S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram
S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram

S Sreesanth Defends Himself In The IPL 2013 Spot Fixing Case

Giving his version of the story, S Sreesanth said he was bowling 130-plus after 12 injuries to his toe and revealed that he was supposed to concede 14 runs in the over, and he had conceded five runs of four balls.

“This is the first interview in which I am sharing or explaining it. It was supposed to be one over and 14-plus runs. I bowled four balls for five runs. No no-ball, no wide and not a single slower ball in an IPL game. I was bowling at 130-plus after 12 surgeries on my toe.”

S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook
S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook

S Sreesanth revealed he was trying to come back to the Indian team following his injuries.

“I had played the Irani Trophy and was looking to play the South African series, so that we can win in September 2013. We were going early, and it moves better in September. My goal was to play that series. A person like that, why would I do it, that too for 10 lakhs?, I am not talking big but I used to have bills of around 2 lakh when I partied around.”

S Sreesanth said that he used to make most of his personal payments by credit or debit cards and not by cash. He added that the prayers of his well-wishers helped him to get out of the rut.

“I used to pay with my card not cash. If I had so much of cash, I would have been spraying it out. In fact, I used to take care of even a normal person. In my life, I have only helped and given belief. I have helped a lot of people, and those prayers helped me get out of this. All I would ask is – two balls, five runs, two balls to go. How would I give away all that I had invested? No way,” the Kerala cricketer concluded.

After his ban was lifted, S Sreesanth returned to competitive cricket in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year. He played five matches for Kerala, claiming four wickets at a strike rate of 27 and an economy rate of 9.88.

S Sreesanth Debuted In 2005 And Was Part Of 2007 And 2011 Indian World Cup Winning Teams

S Sreesanth made his international debut in 2005, in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. He became part of Indian cricketing folklore when he took the catch of Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq to seal the Indian team’s victory in the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup final. He was also part of the playing XI that lifted the 2011 50-over World Cup four years later.

File image of S Sreesanth Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.

In the longer version, his finest moment came when he claimed eight wickets in India’s maiden Test win in South Africa – Johannesburg 2006. S Sreesanth ended his international career with 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is, claiming a total of 169 scalps.

He has not played an ODI match since the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final. However, he has performed brilliantly for Kerala after making his return to domestic cricket. Although the IPL franchises did not sign him at the 2021 auction, the pace bowler has not lost any motivation. His last T20I was in 2008, and the last Test was in August 2011.
He represented India in 27 Tests, 53 ODIs, and 10 T20Is and picked up 87, 75, and seven wickets respectively.  S Sreesanth took 4 scalps in 5 games in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 2020/21 and picked 13 scalps, including a 4 wicket and a 5 wicket haul in 6 games in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020/21 on his return to domestic cricket. Still, his name wasn’t included in the shortlist of 292 players in the IPL 2021 auction.
Ankeet Chavan celebrates a wicket with his team-mates AFP/Getty Images
Ankeet Chavan celebrates a wicket with his team-mates AFP/Getty Images
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Ankeet Chavan’s Life Ban For His Involvement In 2013 Spot Fixing Ends

Ankeet Chavan was arrested in 2013 alongside Ajit Chandila and S Sreesanth by the Delhi Police on charges of spot-fixing during the IPL sixth edition. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to end his ban and now the Mumbai spinner will be able to play professional cricket.

BCCI has finally accepted Mumbai left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan’s plea that he be allowed to play professional cricket since Board Ombudsman DK Jain has reduced his life ban to seven years.

Ankeet Chavan was arrested on charges of spot-fixing during IPL's sixth edition.© AFP
Ankeet Chavan was arrested on charges of spot-fixing during IPL’s sixth edition.© AFP

Ankeet Chavan Will Now Be Able To Play Professional Cricket After BCCI Ends His Ban

Sources within the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) confirmed the development to ANI on Tuesday.

“Yes, the BCCI has ended Chavan’s ban and he will now be able to play professional cricket,” the source said.

S Sreesanth
S Sreesanth

In 2013, Ankeet Chavan was arrested on charges of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) sixth edition. He was arrested by the Delhi police alongside Ajit Chandila and S Sreesanth. The trio was at that time playing for Rajasthan Royals. Though he’s 35 now, the spinner thinks he can make it back into the Mumbai team.

While the ban in principle got over in September 2020, unlike S Sreesanth, whose order for a similar term reduction arrived last August, the spinner had to wait till May 3, 2021, to get a copy of the order from the ombudsman.

He subsequently requested the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to apply to the BCCI for a confirmation letter, a requisite for him to return to competitive cricket, which he received on June 15 from Hemang Amin, BCCI interim chief executive.

Ankeet Chavan And S Sreesanth Were Banned From Cricket For Life In 2013

In September 2013, Ankeet Chavan and S Sreesanth were banned from cricket for life by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee. However, in July 2015, the Delhi Court gave a clean chit and discharged him of all the charges in the IPL spot-fixing case.

S Sreesanth’s ban was lifted by the BCCI last year, and as a result, the pacer made a comeback in domestic cricket and he even represented Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Ankeet Chavan. (TOI Photo)
Ankeet Chavan. (TOI Photo)

Ankeet Chavan, 35, has played 18 first-class matches, 20 List A games, and 26 T20s. His last representative match was against the Mumbai Indians in the 2013 IPL season. Ankeet Chavan was one of three Rajasthan Royals players, along with S Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila, to be charge-sheeted by the Delhi Police at the time. S Sreesanth had received his order before his ban ended last year, allowing him to participate in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year.

S Sreesanth made a stellar statement by picking a five-wicket haul in the 50 overs Vijay Hazare Trophy a few days after all IPL franchises decided to ignore him in the 2021 auction. S Sreesanth picked 13 scalps in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as he was the 9th highest wicket-taker among bowlers.

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