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On hearing of his acquittal in the IPL spot-fixing case by a trial court in Delhi, India fast bowler Sreesanth broke down with relief. He is still facing a BCCI life ban but has vowed to get back to cricket.
"I was just thinking when I took the World Cup catch [that clinched the 2007 World T20], I never thought, 'Why me'," he said. "But today honestly I thought, 'Why me, for two years' but maybe there is a reason. I just couldn't control my tears, now I'm really happy, I love this."
Sreesanth last played official cricket during the 2013 IPL before being arrested by the Delhi Police for the alleged fulfilling of promises made to bookmakers. "I will try to start training properly as soon as possible," he said. "I wasn't allowed anything... Hopefully I can get permission from BCCI to use their facilities so that I can get fit and come into the selection process."
But the BCCI said in a release that their decisions were "independent to any criminal proceeding" and "based on its independent disciplinary action, shall remain unaltered."
Sreesanth spoke of the pain of being sidelined for the last two years. "The worst thing to happen as a cricketer, living just behind international stadium, and you are not allowed there. Even an Under-14 kid who respects you goes to the stadium and I was not allowed. I went through a lot of things but that's past...I would love to go tomorrow and run there."
With the charges against him dropped, Sreesanth said cricket would take centre stage in his life again. "I want to play cricket. I know I have been in the news for movies and all that, but everybody knows that I am a cricketer first. I was just waiting, I was just making sure I don't get bogged down in life, I want to play cricket."
He promised that his trademark delivery will soon make an appearance: "I will make sure I am fully fit and bowl those outswingers."