Corruption in the IPL September 14, 2013

Sreesanth vows to return from 'biggest setback'

ESPNcricinfo staff

A day after he was hit with a life ban by the BCCI, Sreesanth has vowed to make a comeback. He called the ban the "biggest setback" of his life, and continued to maintain that he was innocent.

"The BCCI action is the biggest setback in my life and I am disappointed," he told reporters in Kochi. "I will try to overcome the crisis and make a strong comeback."

His brother Dipu Santh told ESPNcricinfo that Sreesanth's camp will wait on the court's verdict before deciding on a further course of action. "Sreesanth is not in a hurry to challenge the BCCI sanction," he said. "He wants to wait on the Delhi court that is hearing the case of spot-fixing registered by Delhi Police against him and the other Rajasthan Royals players. The Patiala House Court is expected to hear the case on October 7 and Sreesanth's camp is confident that he would be acquitted of the all the allegations pressed against him by Delhi Police. We will wait for the court decision on October 7 before deciding on our next step."

Dipu Santh said his brother was more surprised than shocked by the BCCI disciplinary committee's verdict: "He thought the BCCI might take action only after the court's verdict. He did not expect the BCCI to take a decision so early."

On Friday, the BCCI had handed Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan life bans after ruling them guilty of spot-fixing during IPL 2013.

Sreesanth reiterated he was not guilty. "I can tell that I have not done anything wrong," he said. "The only consolation for me now is that I am at home, not in a jail."

On Saturday morning, he tweeted: "Plss have faith in me..I am sure I will prove my innocence soon....I will get through this..I ve full faith ..God is great."

Sreesanth, Chavan and another Royals player, Ajit Chandila, were arrested by Delhi Police on May 16 in Mumbai, for the alleged fulfilling of promises made to bookmakers, along with eleven bookies including Amit Singh. Royals later suspended their players and the BCCI set up an inquiry into the matter, headed by its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit chief Ravi Sawani. Apart from the action taken by the board, the players face possible prison sentences should they be found guilty in a court of law. They were among 39 persons named in the Delhi Police's chargesheet on alleged corruption in the IPL in July, charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and dishonesty under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

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