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Done for good: Sreesanth gets life ban for spot-fixing

sportssreesanthdownandoutDELHI – Indian Test cricketer Sreesanth has been handed a life ban by the BCCI for his involvement in spot-fixing in Indian Premier League 2013.

His Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan was also banned for life, following the board’s disciplinary committee meeting in Delhi today.

Amit Singh, the cricketer-turned-bookie, got a five-year ban, while Siddharth Trivedi is suspended for a year for not reporting an approach among other things. Twenty-one-year-old Harmeet Singh, who had a similar charge against him as Trivedi, has been cleared of wrongdoing due to a lack of evidence against him.

There has been no ruling as yet on Ajit Chandila, the third Royals player who was arrested in May, since he is yet to be questioned by Ravi Sawani, who led the BCCI’s probe into the matter. Save for a few days when Chandila was out on bail due to a death in the family, he has been in police or judicial custody since his arrest on May 16, meaning Sawani could not speak to him. However, he was finally granted bail on September 9, so his case should come up soon.

Sreesanth tweeted soon after the news of his ban broke, saying he found it “surprising”. “Been tracking the news channels… Me getting a life ban??!! Very surprising,” he said. The tweet was deleted soon after. The Sawani report had recommended bans ranging from five years to life for the four players found guilty on multiple accounts, including “match-fixing” and “seeking or offering a bribe as a reward for match-fixing”, the Indian Express reported earlier today. The final report adopted a tough tone, saying that none of the players were naive to the propositions of manipulation.

“There is no specific mitigating factor that would require any mercy while sanctioning the aforesaid guilty players,” Sawani said in the report. “Sreesanth has played a number of international games and was part of the Indian national team which won the inaugural T20 World Cup, 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. He has received the ICC ACSU education programme on many occasions. In any case all the three players of Rajasthan Royals who are now being accused and found guilty by the under-signed received the ICC Education Programme just prior to the beginning of the IPL-6 season – on April 5, 2013. The programme was delivered to the entire Rajasthan Royals team by Mr Arrie De Bear, regional security manager of the ICC ACSU.

“Obviously, the anti-corruption education given to the three players had no impact on the conduct. Therefore, the three players deserve no leniency whatsoever.”

The players, minus Chandila, were summoned by the board to present their case in a disciplinary committee meeting in Delhi.

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