Four Kerala cricketers switch allegiance to Puducherry team ahead of the 2018-19 Domestic Season
What's the story
The upcoming Indian domestic cricket season will be by far the largest of its kind, with nine new teams introduced into the setup, including North East states and some Union Territories. The season will also feature the comeback of Bihar Cricket team.
Ahead of the season, four cricketers of Kerala have decided that they will play for the newly-formed Puducherry side, rather than play for their home state itself. They are Fabid Farooq Ahmed, Nikhilesh Surendran, Iqlas Naha, and Abdul Safar.
In case you didn't know...
Fabid is one of the thirteen players who was recently punished by the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) for suspected rebellion against team captain and Sunrisers' player, Sachin Baby. Rajasthan Royals' stalwart and Indian cricket Sanju Samson also belonged to the list.
It was widely believed that Fabid's recent switch has got something to do with the row, though he himself denied it.
Fabid was born in Mahe, a town located within Kerala but still a part of Pondicherry's administration. That will result in him getting a direct access to the Puducherry side, and he has also been named as the vice-captain of Puducherry as of now. He had earlier represented Kerala in six domestic games and was also part of the side that toured Sri Lanka this July.
The other three players left their state team because they felt that not enough opportunities were knocking on their doors with the Kerala side. For instance, Nikhilesh Surendran who debuted for Kerala in 2013, is a wicket-keeping batsman who has so far featured in less than 40 games for the home side - across all formats. RCB player Vishnu Vinod, and Mohammad Azharuddin are above him when it comes to the team's wicket-keeping choices.
Fabid is positive on the new role that he will be undertaking, with the new side.
"I am from Mahe. So I have got a natural entitlement to play for Puducherry. When the opportunity came knocking, I grabbed it with both hands. Players like Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, and Pankaj Singh are part of this team. We are all hoping to utilize their experience," Fabid said when asked about it.
He also explained that the switch had nothing to do with the Sachin-Baby-row and that he was leaving just because he felt Puducherry was a fine opportunity.
The 2018-2019 Indian domestic cricket season has already begun with the Duleep Trophy, and it will attain prominence with the Ranji Trophy slated to begin by late October 2018.Published 09 Sep 2018, 18:34 IST