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S Sreesanth: Many players supported me during the controversy, but not publicly

S Sreesanth is currently facing a life ban due to involvement in spot fixing in IPL 2013 © IANS
S Sreesanth is currently facing a life ban due to involvement in spot fixing in IPL 2013 © IANS

Jun 4, 2014

Former Indian pace bowler, S Sreesanth, spoke about his love of dancing and arts, his life after the spot-fixing controversy, and the support he received from cricketers.

In an interview with Bombay Times, Sreesanth spoke about the dancing experience he has. “I have done commercial dancing till 10th standard. I would choreograph for school competitions and festivals till I was in class eight and was lucky enough to win a few. In fact, in eighth standard, I had won a championship in break dancing and street dancing in Mumbai. That’s the only experience I have in dance,” he said.

On being asked about his stormy temper on field, Sreesanth said, “That stems from the love for the game. Even when you are playing a friendly match on a beach, you see people fight. People never blamed or questioned me for my behaviour on field. All I want to ask is, will you not fight for your love? For me, cricket is like a war; I am not a fan of friendly matches. I believe in competition and being honest rather than act.”

Speaking about how his life turned upside down after the ban, Sreesanth said, “I was more worried about my parents, niece and nephews. I feared what they would go through in their schools. One of my nieces is in college but luckily, it was her summer vacation. My parents frequent a lot of temples and they got ill-treated for a week or two. I don’t want to talk about the case, as I get very emotional. It was a tough phase, mainly because I was questioned for the wrong reasons. I could sail through only because of my family…I realised that it takes only a fraction of a second to change your life — good or bad.

“You have to hold on, no matter what. I was in Tihar jail and that’s not a great place to be. I wanted to get out of it all and face the world. Honestly, I took up Jhalak to face the world. I am sure there will be haters. Cricket has made me strong. Even in cricket, I wasn’t really welcomed. I had to work hard to prove that Malayalis can play the sport and we are good at athletics,” he said.

Sreesanth said that what was important was to be “happy and positive” through it all. “I grew very close to music. Also, I have become very patient after marriage. It has changed me as a person. Now, I worry a lot. People say, ‘Jo ho gaya so ho gaya, aagey nikal jao.’ That doesn’t work with me. I want to show that nothing stops me. I have had six surgeries on both my big toes. I have rods and titanium nails in my bones, but never gave up. People will realise that a person who has been through so much pain can never do what they have accused me of,” he said.

Sreesanth mentioned that he received support from players, but it was private rather than out loud. “Lot of support came, but not publicly. A few cricketers and politicians extended their support. They found out my new number and sent me motivating messages. But then, had I been in their place, I would have done the same thing. I am very thankful that they believed in me. I will not lose that faith. Sooner or later, I will win the case and they will be the first ones I would acknowledge. I came to know who is real and who is not. [Harbhajan Singh also kept in touch] through messages. That will be taking just one name. I will acknowledge all of them. I don’t want to name anybody at the moment. Everybody has been supportive.”

Sressanth concluded by saying, “The moment I am out of the case, everything else takes a back seat. I win the competition, finish shooting for the movie, and I am back on field in February. I would like to take my wife on a holiday next Valentine’s Day.”

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