This time, journalists were not there to receive the celebrated son of the soil but to take stock of his fall from grace.

The large media presence on the road leading to the villa of cricketer Sreesanth at Edappally here on Thursday was an ironic reminder of the rousing welcome the pacer got as he returned home two years ago, having been part of the World Cup-winning Indian squad.But this time, journalists were not there to receive the celebrated son of the soil but to take stock of his fall from grace.

Outside Broadcasting vans and cameramen of television news channels rushed to his villa as soon as news broke about his arrest by the Delhi Police.

But villa number 18 wore a deserted look with the day’s newspapers and a mobile phone bill of Sreesanth lying on the veranda. On the porch behind the unlocked gate was parked a BMW X6, a mid-size luxury crossover, with the registration number KL07-BS 36 — a reminder of the cricketer’s days of glory.

The maidservant, who came in the morning unaware of his arrest, was amused by the presence of journalists in front of the gate.

An eerie silence enveloped the lane where the villa is located. Doors of the neighbouring villas remained shut as if to avoid media attention.

Living next door is Ponnama, who was also unaware of the arrest. She said the family was there till the morning.

Sreesanth’s parents stayed there but were not regular occupants.

“They keep coming on and off. They were friendly on those rare occasions we interacted with them,” she said.

But another neighbour didn’t want to do anything with the media, asking journalists to be out of his compound.

It was perhaps an early indication of the future Sreesanth will have to cope with after losing his celebrity sheen.

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