He could delight, and even excite, the fans with his supreme skills with a cricket ball. He could also make them despair, on and off the field.
S. Sreesanth, who announced his retirement from all forms of domestic cricket on Wednesday, was a talented pace bowler who won India Test matches overseas with some exceptional spells, and was part of two World Cup-winning teams (in 2007 and 2011). His career, however, remained an unfinished spell.
Memorable Test win
That career had begun brightly, though. He took six for 55 in an ODI against England in his first season (2005-06) in international cricket. In his second, he took eight wickets at Johannesburg to bowl India to its first-ever Test win in South Africa. Earlier that year, he had also starred in a memorable Test victory against the West Indies at Kingston.
Sreesanth had arrived. Much seemed to go for him — the swing, the pace, the aggression, the seam position.
But, he also had a tendency to get into trouble. In 2013, he was arrested, along with two other Rajasthan Royals players, for alleged spot-fixing in the IPL.
He was banned for life by the BCCI, which was later reduced to seven years. That allowed him to come back into the Kerala team last year.
A few weeks ago, he contributed to the side’s Ranji Trophy win against Meghalaya at Rajkot, where the 39-year-old took the last of his 213 First Class wickets.
He captured 87 wickets in Tests and 75 in ODIs. He could have had more.