Last Update on: February 7th, 2018 at 08:22 pm
Former South African fast bowler Andre Nel has reminisced about his tussle with the S Sreesanth in 2006 when the tainted Kerala-based bowler celebrated with a dance after smashing a six on the bowling of animated Nel.
“Most of the guys I had the biggest fights with are probably best friends with me now. People don’t understand the person away from cricket,” Nel told Wisden India.
Interestingly, India registered an easy-peasy win by 123 runs after bundling out the hosts Proteas on just 84, as the right-arm 35-year-old Sreesanth bagged eight scalps in the famous fixture which culminated with Sreesanth’s shaking the leg while going down at the non-striker’s end which subsequently left the spectators in splits.
“We always used to have a laugh together, we would see each other and laugh. There were no hard feelings. But that’s the thing, everyone misinterpreted me as aggressive all the time,” Nel asserted when he was asked how things shaped up after the infamous episode.
What actually made Sreesanth lose his cool?
Sreesanth who came to bat was tested by Nel with short-pitch deliveries while having words with the right-handed batter which equally irked him and what unfolded was hilarious.
Sreesanth swung his bat – to see the ball sailing over the long-off boundary during the second innings.
The barrage of words:
In the heat of the moment, Nel had a glare at Sreesanth without uttering the word as the latter has already won the on-field battle.
While speaking about the incident, Nel reiterated he has the liking for being aggressive and enjoyed the game.
“I have always enjoyed the battle. If you want to play international sport and you can’t accept winning a battle or losing a battle,” Nel reminisced.
The Transvaal-born 40-year-old right-arm fast bowler Nel is concurrently enjoying the coaching stint in the domestic fold eventually remarked his nature was to be on the top of the game while taking on his opposition.
“I have always enjoyed that, that’s in my nature. The moment people said I can’t do something, that’s my nature to prove you wrong,” Nel further added.
As of now, Sreesanth saw the Supreme Court of India has sent a notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the life ban was revoked by Kerala High Court in 2017.
Sreesanth, who has been facing the long-standing battle in the court – to get his name cleared following the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal in 2013.
“Yeah, I heard he had gone to court for match-fixing and he is in a bit of trouble,” Nel said on Sreesanth.
Interestingly, Nel believes Sreesanth was the great prospect for Indian great while rating him best of his time while donning the national jersey.
“He was a good cricketer in his time, I will always respect him for that. He was a good cricketer and a good bowler of that era,” Nel stated.
Nel aims to bowl three Indian batters:
Nel also expressed the interest to bowl Team India skipper Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya while remarking explosive opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan enjoys the battle.
However, while observing the South Africa-India contest, Nel has lauded the Indian batting line-up while maintaining the visitors have delivered well and credit must go to them for acclimatizing to the conditions.
“I think it’s a brilliant contest. The Indian batsmen have equipped themselves really well with the bouncy wickets. They also are a lot younger and tend to take the battle on now,” Nel concluded.
Nel, who has given back to the batsmen, has made his international debut against Windies at Port of Spain in May 2001. He featured in 79 ODIs and 36 Tests to bagged 229 wickets across formats.
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