IPL spot-fixing: Sreesanth from sledging to fixing...

Prajwal Pariyar

Indian Cricket has been rocked by the arrest of Rajasthan Royals’ S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on charges of spot-fixing. Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila are relatively new to the glamour that IPL brings but Sreesanth, a veteran of 27 Tests and 53 ODIs is an old horse familiar with all the aspects of the glamour associated with Indian Premiere League.

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has always been associated with controversies in the world of cricket. A talented seamer, Sreesanth burst into the scene on the back of some impressive performances in the Indian domestic circuit. However, his international career has been marked by many on-field controversies. His inability to control temper and excitement has caused Indian cricket embarrassment on numerous occasions.

The pacer, who made his debut for India in October 2005, earned a reputation of being a temperamental character who never shied away from a tussle on the field. However, his antics started increasing with every series he played, raising questions about his temperament to represent the country at the highest level.

Initially it was amusing to see someone who would give it back to the opponents who resorted to sledging. The amusing part of his character is epitomized by his waving of the bat and dancing after he hit had Andre Nel for a six in the Test series in South Africa in 2006. Sreesanth proved to be a perfect answer to Nel, who is himself infamous for being a constant irritant to batsmen with his on-field chirping.

The ‘legend of Sreesanth’ kept growing with his antics against Matthew Hayden, Andrew Symonds and other Australians. He would get very upset at being hit for runs and then would show his frustrations to the batsmen, mostly verbally and sometimes through his gestures. Even Indian captain MS Dhoni admitted on occasions that it was difficult to control the bowler.

Then came the infamous ‘Slapgate’ controversy which rocked Indian cricket. Sreesanth, who was representing Kings XI Punjab, was apparently slapped by Harbhajan Singh who was playing for Mumbai Indians. Videos of Sreesanth with tears in his eyes flooded news channels and the internet. Although the two players made up and said that they have left the incident behind, Sreesanth raised the issue once again in April 2013 when he took to social networking website Twitter to give clarifications about the incident that had occurred 5 years ago.

Even after having played so many years of international cricket, very little development and maturity is spotted in Sreesanth as a player. His career has been punctuated by a host of injuries and self created controversies. With the news of Sreesanth being arrested along with two other Rajasthan Royals players coming in we wonder if Sreesanth can ever redeem himself.