February 06, 1983, Kothamangalam, Kerala
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
For three seasons, Sreesanth was hardly anything more than an answer to a trivia question - who is the only Kerala bowler to have taken a Ranji Trophy hat-trick ? His rise, though, was rapid, and since he played for a weak side, unnoticed. Not too many bowlers get selected for the Duleep Trophy in their first season, like Sreesanth did in 2002-03 after snapping up 22 wickets in his first seven games.
His progress was halted owing to a hamstring injury in the following year, but he returned stronger, with a more side-on action and increased pace, and a superb display in the Challenger Trophy, in 2005, propelled him to the national squad for the Sri Lanka series. In the last game of his impressive debut season, he snapped up 6 for 55 against England.
Idiosyncratic, with an aggressive approach - to the stumps and the game - he can be expensive in one-dayers, but is also a wicket-taking bowler. He does it in Tests, too - in Antigua in June 2006 he fired out Ramnaresh Sarwan and Brian Lara (for 0) in successive overs, and then took five wickets in Jamaica and played a key role in bowling India to a historic triumph. The year was one of several highlights, including a haul of eight wickets against South Africa in Johannesburg, which helped India win their first Test in the country.
However, things turned sour two years later in the inaugural IPL, when he was involved in a spat with Harbhajan Singh, who slapped him at the end of a match. Sreesanth signed with Warwickshire and enjoyed a satisfactory first season, but injuries and a steady decline in form kept him out of the national team. His problems with discipline are well documented; he was warned by the BCCI with suspension from domestic cricket if he violated the code of conduct. But his ability with the ball continued to keep him in contention for a place in the Indian team in Tests and ODIs.
The biggest shock in his volatile career came when he was among three Rajasthan Royals players arrested in May 2013, along with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, for the alleged fulfilling of promises made to bookmakers in the IPL. In September, the BCCI's disciplinary committee found him guilty of spot-fixing and banned him for life.
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