Kerala pacer S Sreesanth failed to find a place in the final list for the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction. The auction will be held in Chennai on February 18.
Sreesanth, who returned to competitive cricket in last month’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after serving a seven-year ban for his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scam, had a base price of Rs 75 lakh in the preliminary list. The former Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals player was also part of the Indian team which won the maiden T20 World Cup in 2007 and the ICC World Cup in 2011. So what reasons prompted the franchises to look beyond Sreesanth?
Sreesanth turned 38 on February 6. The fast-paced world of T20 is best suited for young players and the fact that he’s returning after a long gap meant there was a question mark over his fitness. Fielding is also a very important aspect of T20 cricket.
Sreesanth has clearly lost pace and it's natural considering the long break. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is keen on hosting the IPL at home this time and on good batting tracks extra pace is essential for the fast bowlers to keep the batsmen in check.
“At present Sreesanth is nothing special. There are many medium-pacers like him in Kerala let alone India,” a reputed coach told Onmanorama on condition of anonymity.
Finally, Sreesanth’s past too would have played a big role in the franchises’ decision. The team owners would not have been keen on welcoming back a player with question marks over his integrity.
Unlike the Kerala Cricket Association, which has welcomed back Sreesanth with both hands, the franchises have been pragmatic in their approach. There is no room for sentiments in the ultra-competitive world of IPL and Sreesanth would be the first to admit it.