Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, or as fondly referred to as Sreesanth is making a strong statement to all the IPL franchises after not being shortlisted even in the 292 players list for the IPL 2021 Auction.
Sreesanth returned from his 7-year ban – initially a life ban which then got reduced – to the Kerala team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He picked 4 wickets in the T20 tournament and was also on the expensive side – rustiness was expected in his bowling at a high level after 7 years, however, there were flashes of his high pace and swing movement at some instances.
But, the right-arm pacer has started the 50-over domestic tournament, Vijay Hazare Trophy, on a positive note. In Kerala’s opening encounter, Sreesanth returned with figures of 2/41.
It was his bowling performance on Monday (February 22) against a strong Uttar Pradesh batting line-up which will instil immense confidence in the 2011 World Cup-winning seamer.
After UP posted a big opening stand of 93 runs, Sreesanth dismissed Abhishek Goswami. He returned to clean up the middle-order and the tail comprising of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohsin Khan, Akshdeep Nath, and Shivam Sharma to complete only the second five-for of his List-A career; his first one coming way back in 2006.
Sreesanth’s last limited-overs game for India was the 2011 World Cup final versus Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
I’m Not Giving Up: Sreesanth after his IPL snub
After not being included in the 292-player list for the auction, the 38-year-old pacer posted a video on social media for his fans, thanking them and assuring them that he will continue to work and hard for the next auction.
He last played in the IPL in 2013 for Rajasthan Royals before being banned by the BCCI. Last year, the Kerala pacer has expressed his desire to make a return to the Indian team and play the 2023 World Cup at home.
“Just wanna thank all the support you have been showing. Honestly thought I would have been there but it okay, I would have to work really really hard. If I could wait for 8 years then I would love to wait for some more time,” Sreesanth said in a video posted on his Instagram.
”I’m not giving up. I am just 38, so I am gonna make sure I work hard. If I am destined to be there playing then I’ll play next season. If not, then next to next season. I’m not giving up,” he added.