Calling the life ban imposed on S Sreesanth “bizarre”, his lawyer Rebecca John said the tainted pacer would challenge the BCCI’s decision in court as it was “completely against the principles of natural justice”. Sreesanth was banned for life by the BCCI after being found guilty of spot-fixing in the IPL in an internal inquiry conducted by the Board’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit chief Ravi Sawani.
“The (BCCI) order is completely against the principles of natural justice,” John told ESPNcricinfo. “It has based its findings on personal interactions with members of Delhi Police as well as taken material from the chargesheet that has been filed by the police before a sessions court. If that is so, then they should have waited for the court to determine whether or not any of this holds up in legal proceedings,” she pointed out.
John described the Sawani report as “loose” and questioned the basis of its findings: “They just picked up conversations they had with members of Delhi Police where they said Sreesanth and other members of the cricketing community confessed before them. It is a very, very loose report with little or no substance in it.”
She asked how the evidence which wasn’t enough to keep the accused players in jail, could be considered proof of their guilt by the BCCI. Sreesanth, along with four other cricketers, is currently out on bail after spending quite a few days in jail.
“The fact is that the sessions court has released players on bail and said none of this adds up as a case. (The court said) it is very, very tenuous – the link between whatever bookie you are saying had a role to play and the players, particularly Sreesanth, and granted him bail. And then this BCCI’s one-man committee says that Sreesanth is guilty of spot-fixing and hands over a life sentence to him. Not only is it is excessive, it is completely contrary to all principles of natural justice,” she reasoned.