Sreesanth Prepares to get Hooked

By Cynthia Chandran

Birmingham, Aug 24 (IANS): Feisty Indian fast bowler S. Sreesanth has decided to settle down in life. His parents are searching for a suitable bride.

Injury has kept Sreesanth out of the international cricket arena since April 2008. That has mellowed him, though he would rather say he is more "mature" now.

Loving the opportunity to play cricket in England this summer, Sreesanth told IANS at Brittanic Park behind the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here: "The game here is far more organised and they don't really care what is going to happen next. I mean they just make sure that today you have given your best. It's like IPL (Indian Premier League), where one gets to meet the same people in the dressing room, meet lots of stars. I think that's a great opportunity."

A high point of his current stint in Warwickshire is the opportunity to bowl under the eyes of coach Allan Donald. "Allan Donald is a living legend," Sreesanth gushes. "I consider him my hero since my childhood days. That's one reason when I got the offer from Warwickshire, I didn't even think twice, I didn't even read the contract. I just said 'Yes'.

"Then I spoke to Donald and he said you are welcome and you will have a good time. To be honest, if am not playing an international or if am not playing for India, I would love to come back here. I love Warwickshire and I told them I am not going to sign with any other county. I said if I want to play, then I would want to play for Warwickshire with Donald."

Is he still as aggressive as before? Does he still throw tantrums on and off the field? Or has he mellowed down?

"I will not say I have mellowed down," the fast bowler replied. "I think I have become much more mature. I am 26 years old and I think I have got a fair 10 years of good cricket left in me.

"This decade is going to be the best in my career. I don't want to go back to my room and think why did I do this? I am a philosopher, so I love to read, I love meeting people, I love talking to them and I really love to mingle with different cultures and learn from them.

"I understand myself better now. I understand my body and what I need. I always knew what I wanted in life. But I never knew what I did not want in life. What I don't want in life is what has happened in the last one year."

Sreesanth said he will keep trying to get back to the Indian team. "My dream has been to play for the country in a World Cup. I will keep trying. Rahul Bhai has shown the way by getting selected in the Champions Trophy and in the tri-series in Sri Lanka."

The cricketer who also sings, dances, plays the piano and sketches has promised himself that he will sketch the Warwickshire cricket ground one of these days.

What about the actresses he has been linked to? Sreesanth laughs heartily. "Yes, I have been linked to several actresses," he admits. "The most recent one was Minissha Lamba at the IIFA awards in Macau. In a function like film award night, it's always people from the film, sports or the entertainment world who enjoy the event. The Lamba episode was blown out of proportion."

Who will not love to be seen amidst beautiful women, Sreesanth asks. "I enjoy being with them. But it's not fair to single anyone out. They all are my good friends."

Sreesanth thinks when he comes to play for Warwickshire in the next season, "I might be married and settled down. You know how Malayali parents are and am now 26 years old. So my parents are looking out for girls suitable for me. Four to five marriage proposals have already come and hopefully marriage should be happening soon. The girl should be someone who understands me and not a person who is carried away by my star value. I feel that this is the right time to settle down."

What happened to his aspirations to act in a Malayalam film with Mammotty?

"I was approached by Malayalam film director Aashiq Babu to act in 'Daddy Cool' along with Mammotty," Sreesanth replies. "I liked the script and told him that if I am not playing (cricket) then, I would cooperate. But then I got injured, so it did not materialise.

"But I am getting a number of good offers with a Telugu movie banner offering me three crores for a film. But I could not take it up."

Has there been an offer from Bollywood?

"Oh yes," says Sreesanth. "If not for my cricket commitments, I would have acted by now in three Bollywood films. I don't want to reveal the names of the banners as all of them are well known and big banners. I like to be known as a man with multi-faceted personalities.

"I want to write a book as well. It's not going to be an autobiography but a book on life."


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