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In all-new ball game, Sreesanth searches for a smooth run up

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 20, 2018

S Sreesanth at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi PTI

If his first campaign day is any indication, the former cricketer is bound to find the going tough in his political innings for the BJP

‘The Indian Cricket Board’s selectors may have disowned him for alleged acts of commission or omission on the field, or off it. But former India fast bowler Santhakumaran Sreesanth did not run himself out of options, it appears. Thanks to BJP President Amit Shah, Sreesanth is now the party candidate from the Thiruvananthapuram Assembly constituency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted him a private audience in New Delhi, something ‘Sree’ says he will cherish for life. He recalls with pride how Modi praised his spirit of resilience and the smooth switch-over to alternative careers in the performing arts and cinema.

As for the BJP, it serves the party’s line to pick iconic candidates for a do-or-die match in a State in which it has staked it all.

Sreesanth was initially considered for Thrippunithura in Ernakulam, his home district. He was, however, shifted to Thiruvananthapuram after actor Suresh Gopi refused the party ticket.

Discontent in party

Ever since he forfeited his cricketing career, Sreesanth’s in-laws in Rajasthan have been gently prodding him to enter active politics. (He is married into a royal family with acknowledged connections to the BJP in the party’s heartland.)

But he took his own time to take a decision. He was “sort of ready” by the time Assembly elections were announced.

He wants his fans to pump him up to deliver the ultimate ‘yorker’ that can unseat Congressman and State Health Minister. In return, he has promised to work for their welfare, find enough jobs and other forms of vocation for gainful engagement. He has also vowed to lift the coastal population out of poverty. But from all accounts, Sivakumar’s towering presence in his home constituency could prove a tall order.

Sreesanth did not have an auspicious first day either in the constituency. He made a whistle-stop tour, only to give the slip to the party cadres. He was also trolled on Twitter for posting a picture in which he struck a bizarre pose. And nobody in his party seems to know when he would get back for campaigning.

Published on April 05, 2016

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