Former India fast-bowler S Sreesanth believes he is still capable of playing the 2023 World Cup. With his ban all set to end in September, the right-arm pacer is currently gearing up to make his much-anticipated return to high-profile cricket.
The 37-year old’s chances of a comeback received a boost with Kerala Cricket Association and the coach Tinu Yohannan saying they’d be happy to take him in their side, should he prove his fitness.
In August last year, the BCCI cut short the life ban imposed on him for the IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013. BCCI ombudsman DK Jain ordered for S Sreesanth’s spot-fixing ban to be reduced to a seven-year suspension. The World Cup-winner is now eyeing a return to the Indian team and is confident of playing the next 50-over World Cup.
“I still believe I can play in the 2023 World Cup. I firmly believe that,” S Sreesanth told Deccan Herald when talking about the influence of Tim Grover, a fitness coach. “One of the things he taught me was to be unapologetically me. I was always unrealistic with my goals but that’s with most athletes. If you don’t have unrealistic goals, you’re going to be mediocre. I think when you manage to convince your subconscious to believe in these unrealistic dreams, great things can happen. You can achieve anything.”
S Sreesanth thanked the KCA and said he is in touch with Yohannan and a few players to organise unofficial nets to chart his way back to the side. Having not played at the highest level for 7 years and with age not on his side either, fitness looks to be the biggest problem for the Kerala star. However, S Sreesanth is not too much worried about it.
“I am not at all concerned about my fitness. I am very confident. The movies and the shows kept me going, they required me to be in some shape. I fully immersed myself in the routine of working out to avoid depressive phases. In fact, I tried my hand at MMA too in between because my anger and stress needed some outlet. I couldn’t hit anybody so I did the closest thing: hit a punching bag or a mat.
I think one of the best things I did was spend my money wisely on hiring some of the finest people for the job… Ramji Srinivas, John Gloster, Tim Grover…. all these people have helped me tremendously. I am in constant touch with them. See, it will be difficult but it’s not impossible. I look at it as a seven-year break. The young people were busting up their bodies while I preserved it. I am raring to go,” he said.