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Sunday, June 07, 2020

‘Wanted to play vs CSK’: Sreesanth responds to claims he abused Rahul Dravid

Paddy Upton had claimed that Sreesanth had an extraordinary outburst against Dravid after being dropped for a match - a few days before being arrested for match-fixing. Sreesanth says he never abused Dravid and that he just wanted to play against CSK.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: May 20, 2020 8:58:27 am
Sreesanth says he asked the Rajasthan Royals team management in 2013 why he was not being played against CSK when he had taken MS Dhoni’s wicket in Durban. (File Photo/BCCI)

Responding to claims that Sreesanth abused Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton in public for being dropped for an IPL match in 2013 – four days before his arrest for spot-fixing, the bowler said he did not abuse Dravid but only asked why he was not being played against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a team he especially wanted to beat.

“I could never disrespect a man like Rahul Dravid. He is the best captain. I was angry because I was not part of the squad during the CSK match. I asked the reason for the same,” Sreesanth said on Helo Live on Friday.

“Yes, I wanted to play against CSK and wanted to win against them. But I don’t know the exact reason for keeping me out. In the Durban match, I bowled to MS Dhoni and took his wicket. After that match, I did not get any chance to play against CSK. Team management never gave me proper reason. I don’t hate Dhoni or CSK, but I go with colour. CSK jersey looks like the Australian jersey,” he said.

Paddy Upton, who had been part of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) team management at the time of these events, had made the revelation that Sreesanth had abused Dravid and him in his 2019 book ‘The Barefoot Coach’.

READ | Against South Africa in 2006, S Sreesanth had his coming of age Test

Saying that he saw the signs of a nexus between Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan – the three RR players banned for fixing – he had written: “The reason for Sreesanth’s repeated poor behaviour, which amongst other things included blurting out in front of the team that Rahul Dravid (captain) and I (Upton) could go and f…k ourselves in response for dropping him, now made sense.”

However, Upton had said Sreesanth’s outburst had been precipitated by him being dropped for a match against Mumbai Indians and not CSK.

READ | Sreesanth: Prisoner of his past

Speaking about Upton, Sreesanth said on Friday: “He was not respected by many players in the team. He was not that big of a player. But I used to have good conversations with him.”

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