Having been cleared to play cricket by the Kerala High court, S Sreesanth hopes to be back in the national team soon and the target that the fast bowler has set himself is India’s tour of South Africa starting in January next year.
Where does the High Court order lead you to?
Better late than never. I was always confident everything will fall in place. I am thankful to god. I hear that the BCCI is studying the order. I want to be known as a cricketer and remembered as a cricketer. I can’t wait to come back into the game, start playing for my state and eventually for my country.
How prepared are you to come back into the game should there not be further legal hurdles?
Very well prepared. I have been working hard on my fitness. If I have a couple of good matches, I can play for Kerala as soon as possible. So, I want to get myself ready for the Ranji Trophy season. A good season there should help me get back into the scheme of things for the national team as well. India is touring South Africa in 2018 and obviously that is my target.
Is that a realistic target?
I have always done well there. Hopefully, I will be on the flight to South Africa as the senior fast bowler and win the series for India. I also want to be part of the World Cup in England where the ball swings a lot. I am lucky enough to win a couple of World Cups and hopefully I will be part of a few more.
Yes, you did well in South Africa in the past but do you actually think you can fit into the Indian bowling attack?
Every bowler is doing well now. I am happy that we’re world No 1 and it is not without good contributions from Umesh (Yadav), Ishant (Sharma), Shami (Mohammed) and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar). I am happy that I have a chance to be part of that group. It will be a challenge but I have the likes of Zaheer (Khan) bhai and Ashish (Nehra) to motivate me. They played at the age of 36-37. Even Brett Lee did that. There are fast bowlers who have played at that age and bowled over 135 (kph). I am only 34 now. In the last four years, I have also improved my batting. I am looking forward to winning matches for India with both bat and ball. My fielding skills are decent. I am agile enough.
How did you get into this mess?
I don’t want to point finger at anybody and indulge in blame-game. All I can say is right now I am completely free and I am looking ahead. I just hope the BCCI looks at me favourably. The BCCI is like my parents, who gave me name and fame. I hope they will give me a chance to improve as a cricketer and human being.
You have not spoken of playing in the IPL? Why not?
It all depends on performance and fitness. My target is to play for Kerala. I may also be picked by an IPL team. I am happy to play cricket at any level. I have 87 Test wickets and my target is 100. May be much more than 100.
You were known for your aggression. Is it still intact in you?
I will love to play under Virat Kohli. He is one of the aggressive captains around. Sourav Ganguly too was very aggressive.
You contested in the election with a BJP ticket. How much of your political connections helped you and what happens to your political career?
Politics has really given me motivation. Special thanks to Amit Shah ji and Narendra Modi ji. Even the state BJP leaders, they have all motivated me not to give up in life. So thanks to the party for giving me all the encouragement. I am proud to say I am part of the biggest political party in the country. I’ll continue my political work as karyakarta but priority is cricket.
Source: Times Of India