Kochi: Jiju Janardhanan was a name that turned notorious overnight from relative obscurity after the Delhi Police mentioned him as the go-between for cricketer S. Sreesanth and bookies in the alleged spot fixing scandal.
While a cloud of suspicion meanders around the 29-year-old right-arm medium pacer's alleged link with bookies that has landed Sreesanth in a hot soup, it turns out he was a talented player who wished to play for Kerala after failing to make it to a highly competitive Gujarat state team.
The Gandhinagar-raised cricketer had arrived at the cricketing scene in Kerala four years ago. He was in the Kerala state U-25 squad and even played for Kerala XI against Hyderabad XI in the Moin-ud-Dowlah tournament in 2009. Kerala lost that match by 5 wickets, but Jiju did a good job batting down the order, scoring 28 runs.
He has been around in the cricketing circuit, but it was the UAE based Kerala Cricket League T20 tournament that made him a star.
He was man-of-the-match three times for the Cochin Canons, a franchisee in the KCL, in December 2012.
In the club level, he was representing the Muthoot Ernakulam Cricket Club, the same team where Sreesanth is registered.
The two have had a close association, especially during their training days with the MRF Pace Foundation.
Meanwhile, as Kerala went crazy about the unprecedented development, Janardhanan, father of Jiju, was sitting devastated at his house in Kuthuparamba in Kannur district.
“Everyone is saying he is guilty; but as a parent how can I believe it,” asked Janardhanan. “I wish he had no part in this. But if he has done some wrong we have to accept it as our fate,” said the father before breaking down to tears.