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'The feeling is yet to sink in'
Harish Kotian

Only a few weeks back S Sreesanth had admitted that he was "heart-broken" after being overlooked for the upcoming World Cup. Now, after making a surprise, backdoor entry into India's squad for the mega event, beginning February 19, he does not know how to thank his stars.

After fellow-pacer Praveen Kumar was withdrawn from the squad because of an elbow injury, the Kerala pacer was on Tuesday called up as his replacement following a fitness test.

His first World Cup, four years back, was a disaster, as India was knocked out in the first round. This time, though, the 28-year-old is confident that both he and the team can go all the way.

Senior Associate Editor Harish Kotian caught up with the temperamental 28-year-old seamer in Bangalore soon after the BCCI announced his inclusion in the 15-man squad.

What was your first reaction after being called up to the Indian squad for the World Cup?

I was really excited and I thanked God. Very honestly, I felt bad for Praveen [Kumar]. I hope that he gets fit soon and plays for India again at the earliest. I am getting an opportunity to play the World Cup and I am really looking forward to it.

Has the feeling of your sudden call-up sunk in?

Even now I am struggling for words, because the feeling is yet to sink. I never thought I would play in this World Cup.

Were you expecting this call-up? A few days back you were talking of cheering the Indian team?

I am a huge cricket fan, so even though I had missed out initially I decided to support the Indian team. In fact, my band S36 did a show few days back and the entire show was dedicated to the Indian team. I am really happy to be able to make it to the World Cup. I thank the selectors, my fans and well-wishers.

Image: S Sreesanth

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