After being acquitted of all charges against him, S Sreesanth recently made news by making some revelations on the Dennis Freedman podcast. This is the first time he has spoken up and shared his side of the story.
On his arrest, he said, “I was never drunk on that day. I was just coming back from an injury. It was just a made up story by the police. They did not even have an arrest warrant. So, it was more of a kidnap by the police more than anything else.”
“..They told me that I was being taken to Delhi for questioning, and they said nothing about betting. They said that they had information about some people and wanted clarification on that. It was not like an official arrest.”
He added, “I came to know once I landed in Delhi how bad that is. The moment I landed, if I was drunk and out of my senses, I would not have been able to understand what was happening. We were not aware because my phone was also taken from me. It was more like being treated like a terrorist. There were about 60-70 commandos. There was also a bullet-proof vehicle for me as well. We were treated like we were international criminals.”
Having spent 27 days in Tihar Jail, he described the experience as ‘horrific’. “After 12 days, I was sent to Tihar Jail. I was in a dormitory with 450 criminals inside. I was in jail for 27 days, the experience was horrific. They also said something about money laundering and mentions of Dawood (Ibrahim). They also apparently had a conversation between the two of us as well. There was a voice test as well which I passed. They eventually had nothing against me. I got my bail on the 27th day in Tihar”, he said.
This incident also took a toll on his personal life. He said, “I went back to my house, but I was really scared. I was depressed for 2 months. My dad had an open heart surgery. My mother had some problems with depression as well. My family and friends started doubting me and I had to wait 2 years for the case to get over.”
He also spoke about the controversial over that many believe was fixed. “ I kept a low-profile and kept believing and get the black and white written from the court, everything will be fine. I knew that I would never be involved even in my wildest dreams. Everyone knows how I play cricket. I was accused of giving away 14 runs in 6 balls. I didn’t even bowl a wide or a no-ball that day. The batsmen were (Adam) Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh. Everybody knows how good they are”, he said.
“..If I had done that on 9th May, they should have arrested me on that day. They didn’t do that. There was a plan behind it that I didn’t know. Now, I’m back to my normal life. I got married and I’m getting back to my normal life.”
He went on to state that he would like to take his chances and appeal the legal system in case the BCCI failed him. “I will surely take them to court if I don’t get the permissions. I did not get any suspension letter or email. There is no proof of the ban whatsoever.”
In the end, he also lay open the story of the much talked about slapping incident that involved Harbhajan Singh and himself. “The slapping incident goes back to 2008. It was not really a slap, it was more like an elbow. I still call him ‘Bhajji Pa’ and he is someone I look up to. The media, in fact, came up with a lot of things. He was very irritated because he was the captain of Mumbai Indians and I was playing for the Kings XI Punjab which is his home state.”
“I just went up to him at the end of the match and said ‘hard luck’ and it was more like a punch rather than a slap. I cried because I’m emotional. I did not want to fight back”, he concluded.