S Sreesanth

S Sreesanth is reported to be keeping his mind off the trial by playing badminton, using the gymnasium and watching television © PTI

New Delhi: Jun 9, 2013
Lodged in Tihar Jail, spot-fixing accused cricketer S Sreesanth has found an unlikely companion and philosopher in former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda, who shares the bowler’s ward 9 of Jail No 1. Kanda was, in May, framed under stringent charges of rape and unnatural sex in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.
Sreesanth, who has been charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) last week, was reported to have grown increasingly frustrated since his arrest. His friends, who are camping in Delhi, feared for his well-being because of his impulsive nature. However, when they met him last week, Sreesanth seemed relatively calm and collected while speaking to them via a speaker across a glass partition in the visiting room.
“Kanda has had a positive influence on Sree. When Sree was upset, Kanda told him that he had been lodged in Tihar for much longer and was unlikely to be released soon. He also advised Sree not to get frustrated and go about his daily routine without obsessing about when he would be released,” H Hamsa (Shibu), Sreesanth’s friend, was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.
“When you are down and out and alone in a jail, you have to turn to someone for solace and Kanda being his cellmate has helped Sree stay sane in spite of all the turmoil,” Hamsa added.
The newspaper reported that two India Test players, who have been regularly inquiring about the fast bowler’s condition in Tihar, sent text messages and calls to Sreesanth’s friends.
The family of the Bhopal-based girl who Sreesanth is supposed to marry soon has also supported him throughout the case. “We were planning to have an engagement in September and the wedding after India’s tour of South Africa, which Sreesanth was hoping to be part of. The girl has stood by Sreesanth’s side even after the spot-fixing scandal broke. Sreesanth is aware of her support,” a family member said.
Another friend, Jayan Thekkedath, said that Sreesanth has also been speaking to his family back home in Kerala. “His parents are really shattered but they remain in Kerala because they don’t want to add to the trauma,” Thekkedath, who is also a member of Sreesanth’s Ernakulam Cricket Club, said.
Sreesanth is reported to be keeping his mind off the trial by playing badminton, using the gymnasium and watching television for news about the trial and Champions Trophy scores. Since he is lodged in a special cell, he only has to interact with a limited number of inmates, which gives him a sense of security, his friends said.

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