India pacer S. Sreesanth back among the wickets after return from ban

Fast bowler has been in fine form for his state Kerala in domestic cricket

India cricketer S. Sreesanth unsuccessfully appeals for a leg before wicket (LBW) against Bangladesh cricketer Tamim Iqbal during the first match in the World Cup Cricket tournament between Bangladesh and India at The Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on February 19, 2011. Bangladesh are currently at 23 runs with no loss after 3 of their alloted 50 overs while chasing India's score of 370 runs. AFP PHOTO / Prakash SINGH / AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH
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India fast bowler S. Sreesanth has wasted no time getting back to his wicket-taking ways upon his return to competitive cricket following a ban for his alleged role in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

Sreesanth was banned by the Indian board in 2013 following that year's spot-fixing controversy.

However, in 2019 the Supreme Court of India 'set aside' the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI. The board's ombudsman then reduced the term of his ban to seven years.

That meant Sreesanth was eligible to play for his state Kerala in September 2020.

And despite being 38 years of age and out of the game for seven years, the pacer made an almost immediate impact.

He made a subdued return in the domestic T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament before making a mark in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy.

He picked up five wickets against Uttar Pradesh and four against Bihar, taking his tally to 13 wickets from five games at an average of 18.76.

While the path back to the Indian team is almost certainly closed, with even the IPL overlooking the pacer, Sreesanth is fulfilling his promise of playing competitive cricket again.

In an interview to ESPNcricinfo in 2019, Sreesanth had said he wants to play for another five years.

"Unfortunately or fortunately, I haven't played any cricket in the last six-seven years. n that way, I am only looking at this as a blessing in disguise. In one way, it is good my body is not tired of bowling fast.

"I am a born fast bowler, and will always be a fast bowler. I will not give up cricket for the next five years."