Real goal is to be part of 2023 World Cup squad: S Sreesanth ahead of comeback in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Written by Sumit Seth

S Sreesanth is all set to make his comeback to first-class cricket after a long wait of seven years. Sreesanth has been named in Kerala’s probables list for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Sreesanth will be joining Kerala’s conditioning camp for the T20 tournament where he will be training with the likes of Sanju Samson and others as the state team looks to get their campaign underway.

Sreesanth, who has been waiting desperately to make his comeback to competitive cricket, says his ultimate goal remains to play for India again and make the cut in the squad for the 2023 World Cup which is all set to be staged in India. Sreesanth, 37, last played for India in August 2011 and his last first-class appearance was in 2013.

“It is true that it is the kind of age when there is nothing much left to achieve in sports. But then, someone like Leander Paes won a grand slam at 42. Roger Federer is another case in point,” Sreesanth was quoted as saying by Times of India.

“As a fast bowler, I will be creating history but then, I like to create history. I am not just looking at the season ahead but at the next three years. My real goal is to be in the 2023 World Cup team and win the cup,” said Sreesanth.

Sreesanth has been bowling relentlessly and working on his fitness as he prepares for his comeback. The discarded pacer, whose 7-year ban from cricket was lifted last year, said he is aiming to play not just Syed Mushtaq Ali but other domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy as well.

“Our first match will be at the Wankhede stadium where I had played my last India match, so life is coming full circle. Kerala has never won this tournament but we have a very good team now. I am excited to be part of this unit and also play under the guidance of coach Tinu Yohannan,” said Sreesanth.

“Both Tinu and Sanju Samson have said they want to gift the trophy to me as I make a comeback. But I am not looking only at Mushtaq Ali but also to win Irani and Ranji. If I do well, I will get more opportunities. I have been getting inquiries for IPL, too, and I have to make sure that I am fit and bowling well,” he added.

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Sumit Seth