Cricket is also known as the gentleman’s game. But sometimes in the desperation to win, some players cross certain boundaries. They get banned from the game for different amounts of time depending on the severity of the punishment. But some cricketers are also able to make a heroic comeback after a ban.
The former India pacer S Sreesanth is likely to be included in the upcoming Ranji Trophy season for Kerala. The 37- year-old was facing a life ban for his supposed involvement in the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. Later this was reduced to a seven-year by the BCCI and is to end in September.
Tinu Yohanan who was recently appointed as the new coach by the Kerala Cricket Association revealed that Sreesanth is likely to be considered in the Kerala Ranji team.
He also stated that the pacer has been in constant touch with the former Indian faster bowler and has been working on his bowling.
Sreesanth made this last international appearance against England in Oval where he bagged three wickets. He has not played any cricket for India since the World Cup in 2011. Many players have been the target of such punishment. Some big names in cricket have been the target of ban, many of who made a sensational comeback.
Here’s a look at 5 players who made incredible comebacks.
Marlon Samuels (West Indies)
The West Indian all-rounder was banned in 2008. It was revealed that he had passed information to a bookie before a match against India in 2007.
He made his return on the international stage and went on to become a relied batsman in the West Indies batting line up.
He guided his team to two World T20 titles and was awarded the man of the match awards in both.
Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa)
The former South African batsman faced a six-month ban for his involvement in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000. Gibbs and his teammate Henry Williams were found guilty of accepting a £10,000 bribe. Hansie Cronje, the captain of the South Africa team gave this bribe to underperform in a match against India. They were allowed to return from January 1, 2001. The decision received criticism from many.
However, both of them made a comeback. While Willam disappeared after playing few first- class games, Gibbs made an impact with two tons against India in 2001. One of his brilliant knocks was against Australian in 2006, where he scored 175 in 111 balls. He went on to score 12 Test tons after his comeback.
Mohammad Amir (Pakistan)
Amir was banned from playing after he was found guilty of spot-fixing in 2010. It was at Lord’s in 2010 where Mohammad Amir bowled two deliberate no-balls that got him banned for five years. In 2015, he returned to all formats of the game.
Amir was exceptional against India in the final of Champions Trophy 2017 where he grabbed three wickets for 16 runs. In World Cup 2019, he finished as the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan with 17 wickets. He later announced retirement from Test cricket to focus on shorter formats.
Ajay Jadeja (India)
In the year 2000 Ajay Jadeja along with his teammates Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, were banned for fixing scandal. It is one of the biggest match-fixing stories that rocked Indian cricket. The 29-year-old was banned for five years- a period that was good enough to put an end to his cricketing career.
However, in January 2003, the court overturned the decision allowing him to play both international and domestic cricket. But his petition seeking to play in international stages was dismissed by the court after no one appeared for the hearing on this behalf. He became the captain of the Rajasthan Ranji team after he was permitted to play domestic cricket.
Ata-ur-Rehman was banned after he was found guilty for dealing with bookies in 2000. The scandal rocked Pakistan cricket, leading to a life ban on his teammates Salim Malik and fines on Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul Haq, and Waqar Younis.
The Pakistani pacer eventually returned to play cricket but could not play in the international stage and therefore ended up playing first-class cricket.