Sreesanth reunites with Catholic priest in jail

June 4, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Fr. John Puthuva is working for Prison Ministry India.

SreesanthNew Delhi, June 02, 2013: Cricketer S Sreesanth, who is charged of spot-fixing, reunited with a Catholic priest in Tihar jail, held his hand and cried.

“He saw me from a distance when he was being brought by the personnel accompanying him. He ran towards me and held my hand and started crying,” said Fr. John Puthuva.

Fr. Puthuva is working for ‘Prison Ministry India’, an NGO that counsels prisoners in Tihar Jail, since October last year.

On May 30, the priest finished his rounds with other prisoners and undertrials and met Sreesanth.

“For six years I had lost touch with Sree’s family. However, on May 15, I found out that he had been brought to Delhi. I tried meeting him at the Special Cell office in Lodhi Colony, but couldn’t. It was only in Tihar that I met him personally after so many years,” he said.

Sreesanth first met the priest and sought his blessing when he was about to play his first international match, with a career as a successful fast bowler ahead of him.

Soon, meeting the priest became a habit.

“He was like a child when I first met him. He was excited about every match and would often ask me to conduct a prayer for him before he went to the field,” said the priest.

Sreesanth lived two blocks from Fr. Puthuva’s office in Palarivattom, Ernakulam in Kerala and visiting his family and conducting prayers had become a weekly practice for the priest.

Every Tuesday, the Hindu family would accompany Fr. Puthuva to the church in Kaloor.

Sreesanth’s mother Savithri Devi would call Fr. Puthuva almost every week asking him to conduct prayers at their house.

“Sreesanth would always be very excited to see me. He may be restless on the field, excited and full of energy. But he would look forward to seeing me and waited patiently for me to conduct the prayers. All he would say is ‘pray for me Father’,” the priest recalled.

Sreesanth was arrested on May 16 during the Indian Premier League (IPL). He and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates were taken into police custody on charges of spot-fixing during IPL.

His Rajasthan Royals contracts have been suspended pending inquiry. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has currently suspended him from playing in IPL.

– indian express

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