In the season of the migratory birds, also known as the election season in India, it only took a courtesy visit by former India cricketer S Sreesanth to Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday night, to set the rumour mills spinning in Kerala. The grapevine had it that Sreesanth had joined the Congress. The presence of the Congress stole around the fast bowler’s neck only seemed to confirm his movement from the BJP to the Congress.
No, No, protested Sreesanth who had joined the BJP ahead of the 2016 assembly elections in Kerala and had contested unsuccessfully from the Thiruvanthapuram assembly constituency. He clarified that he was still a BJP karyakarta and “proud” to be so.
Sreesanth whose life ban was set aside by the Supreme court this month, had gone to Tharoor to thank him for his support during his difficult days. Sreesanth was banned in 2013 after the BCCI accused him of being guilty of spot-fixing in that year’s IPL tournament.
“Sreesanth, one of the best bowlers India has produced, and proud icon of Kerala, visited me last night. Happy to know his ban has been revoked. Wishing him all success for the wickets ahead!”, tweeted Tharoor.
Devoid of any politics, there were no barbs exchanged unlike in 2016 during the election campaign in Thiruvananthapuram. At that time, Tharoor had smugly advised Sreesanth to do his homework before taking part in a political talk show. Using cricketing lexicon, Tharoor taunted Sreesanth by tweeting that he “needs to do his homework against the incoming bouncer” and suggested that he “should have stuck to his great outswingers”. Sreesanth retorted by quoting Chanakya saying “If there is unrest among people pretending to be intellectuals and criminals, assume that the king is moving in the right direction”. However, there was soon bonhomie on the microblogging site with Sreesanth expressing respect for Tharoor and the MP responding by calling him one of his favorite players.
Sreesanth who has dabbled in films and reality shows in the past few years, said he wants to concentrate on sports for now. While a return to Team India or even one of the IPL teams, given that the ignominy of the alleged spot-fixing took place when he was donning the Rajasthan Royals jersey, is almost ruled out, Sreesanth would hope he can return to his roots for the Kerala Ranji team. The temperamental speedstar was called the Kochi Express when he broke into the Indian team.