Nearly eight years after he was handed a life-ban for spot-fixing, former India pacer S Sreesanth has taken yet another step towards returning to competitive cricket after his name was included in Kerala’s squad for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Sreesanth has managed to make the cut in a 20-man squad which will be led by Sanju Samson with Sachin Baby named as the vice-captain.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will kickstart the Indian domestic season which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The T20 tournament will get underway from January 10 in Mumbai.

Sreesanth’s life-ban was reduced to seven years upon revision in 2019 which officially ended in September this year following which he had expressed his desire to play domestic cricket again. Kerala head coach Tinu Yohanan had said he will be considered for the season based on form and fitness.

The 37-year-old was eventually included in among the 26 probables for the T20 tournament announced earlier in December.

He was also named in a list of players set to feature in a KCA President’s Cup T20 in Alappuzha. But the inaugural event was delayed after the association failed to get permission to organise the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from Sreesanth, Samson and Baby, the other players are Basil Thampi, Jalaj Saxena, Robin Uthappa, Vishnu Vinod, Salman Nizar, Nidheesh M D and Asif K M.

While Akshay Chandran, Abhishek Mohan SL,Vinoop S Manoharan, Mohammed Azharuddeen M, Rohan S Kunnummal and Midhun S also found place in the team, the Kerala Cricket Association has also given chance to four new faces in Vathsal Govind Sharma, Sreeroop M P, Midhun P K and Rojith KG.

Sreesanth has also expressed his desire to represent India again in the 2023 ODI World Cup at home.

“It is true that it is the kind of age when there is nothing much left to achieve in sports. But then, someone like Leander Paes won a grand slam at 42. Roger Federer is another case in point,” Sreesanth had told Times of India.