S Sreesanth may have been shown the door by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after his involvement in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scam, but the board vice-president and former Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) president TC Mathew believes the banned Indian speedster can still make an international comeback if he speaks to interim president Vinod Rai.
Mathew, who had recently stepped down as the Kerala cricket chief following the rigorous implementation of the Lodha Committee reforms, asserted the fact that Sreesanth still is a terrific bowler, and has every right to return to the national team, if the likes of Ashish Nehra can.
"If Ashish Nehra can return to the national side at the age of 37, then Sreesanth too can make it. The 33-year-old Sreesanth is still a terrific bowler and he is undergoing rigorous training," Mathew was quoted as saying according to Manorama.
Sreesanth, along with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, were banned for life by the BCCI after being found guilty of spot-fixing while playing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2013. Even though Sreesanth was acquitted by a Delhi court, the board refused to change its stance on the tainted cricketers.
Mathew though, saw the appointment of the Committee of Administrators (COA) by the Supreme Court — led by Rai — as an opportunity for Sreesanth to relive his dream of wearing the Indian jersey.
The former KCA chief was among those who had initially supported Sreesanth after the latter's ban, having pledged the state association's support to him and offering to meet then-BCCI member Arun Jaitley for the same.
Sreesanth briefly flirted with politics last year, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year and lost to Congress in the Kerala assembly election while representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
He was in the news recently for a heated war of words with cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra, going on to label the latter "two-faced". Chopra voiced his opinion against the possibility of Sreesanth making an international comeback, which drew a strong reaction from the pacer. The argument ended with the pacer stating that he would make a comeback against all odds.