Senior counsel Pinaki Misra — a former allrounder at the university level and a former captain of the St Stephen’s College football team — dug into his knowledge of cricket to argue that there was nothing fishy or unusual about the fast bowler’s second over in Rajasthan Royals’s May 9 IPL game against Kings XI Punjab.
Delhi Police have accused Sreesanth of colluding with bookies to bowl a fixed over in which he agreed to concede 14 runs or more. According to the police, who have booked him under MCOCA, the bowler allegedly signalled for bets to be taken by tucking a towel in his trouser before beginning the over.
However, Sreesanth conceded one run less than the agreed minimum of 14.
“Sreesanth is a strike bowler and a Test bowler who is one of the best in the country. He is not what is called a containing bowler,” Misra, who is also the BJD Lok Sabha member from Puri, told additional sessions judge Vinay Kumar Khanna as he began dissecting the allegedly fixed over.
“Hence, he tends to give away 8 to 10 runs (an over) and has a high economy rate. It is because of his higher economy rate that Sreesanth played just 7 of 15 games for Rajasthan Royals this season,” Misra said, arguing why it was not unusual that Sreesanth should leak runs.
However, Misra noted, Sreesanth gave only 5 runs in the first four balls of that over, two of which were dot balls.
“You must be aware what a dot ball is,” Misra told the judge. “There were two dots balls in the first four deliveries of Sreesanth’s over. Will a bowler who has agreed to spot fix, like the police are claiming, give away just 5 runs in his first four balls? That means he has to ensure that he gets hit for at least one six in the last two deliveries if he has to concede 14 runs because even two fours won’t do.”