The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is in full swing, and as always we’re cheering for the Men in Blue. As we saw the video of the Indian team arriving at Southampton, we began to wonder how many Malayalis have played for India so far.
Out of the millions who grow up with the dream of playing an international match for the Indian Cricket team, a handful makes it. Kerala has always been a land of football, but we have had our share of cricketing stars who made it into the Indian team.
Shanthakumaran Nair Sreesanth needs no introduction. He was part of the Indian cricket team from 2005 to 2011 and was one of the best fast blowers India has ever seen. His aggressive style kept him on the news for most of his career.
Say what you want of him, but before Virat Kohli, there was Sreesanth abusing Australian parents.
Following the spot-fixing scandal, Sreesanth has been banned from playing professional cricket.
Tinu Yohannan is a right-handed and a medium fast bowler. He made his debut on the 3rd of December 2001, in a Test Match against England. His ODI debut was against West Indies on 29 May 2002. He has taken 5 wickets in both Test and ODIs.
He is the son of T. C. Yohannan, a long jumper who held the national record for nearly 3 decades and represented India in the 1976 Olympics.
Sanju Samson played for India on the 19th of July 2015 as a wicketkeeper-batsman. In his only international match, he scored 19 runs off 24 balls and had a 36-run partnership with Stuart Binny. Sanju had the bad luck of being Dhoni’s backup and hence, did not get to play many matches.
Sanju has been playing in the IPL since 2012 and you can catch him playing for the Rajasthan Royals.
Abey Kuruvilla played for India in the 1997 tour of West Indies and led the pace attack for India. He displayed impressive performance but was dropped from the team after the series. He retired from first-class cricket in April 2000.
This 6-foot 5-inch giant was born in Alappuzha but bought up in Chembur, Mumbai. He took up coaching after retirement.
Yet another fast bowler from Kerala! Basil Thampi never played for India but was part of the Indian’s Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in November 2017. He was also a net bowler for the Indian team during the four-match Test series against Australia in February–March 2017. Basil has had quite a good domestic career and has even won the “Emerging Player Award” in 2017.
You can spot him playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
Karun Nair made his ODI debut in June 2016 and Test cricket debut in November 2016. He became the third player in international cricket to convert his maiden century into a triple century, scoring an unbeaten 303 against England in his third Test.
Karan was born in Jodhpur to Kaladharan Nair and Prema Nair who are from Chengannur. He can be spotted playing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.
And before we wrap up, we would like to make an honourable mention.
Though Krishna Chandran represents the Kerala Cricket Team in the domestic circuit, he plays for the United Arab Emirates team in the international arena. He has represented the UAE in twelve One Day International matches, including five matches in the World Cup.
Did we miss someone? Let us know in the comments section below.