Kerala has announced its 20-member squad for the upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy. The team will be led by the 33-year-old Sachin Baby, who made his first-class debut way back in November of 2009 while wicketkeeper batter Vishnu Vinod will serve as his deputy.
Since he is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Sanju Samson hasn't been included in the squad announced by the Kerala Cricket Association. Samson is expected to join the team once he is fully fit.
The 2007 ICC T20 World Cup and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup winner, Sreesanth has also earned a spot in the state's Ranji Trophy squad. The 39-year-old pacer was last seen in action for Kerala during the 2020-21 Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final fixture against Karnataka in Delhi.
Swashbuckling opener Mohammed Azharuddeen left out of squad for Ranji Trophy
Meanwhile, 27-year-old swashbuckling opener Mohammed Azharuddeen, who is the first-ever Kerala batter to score a T20 century, has unfortunately missed out. The Kerala squad also includes four new faces - Anand Krishnan, Fanoos F, Varun Nayanar and Eden Apple Tom.
During the previous edition of the tournament, Kerala failed to get past the league stage. They managed a solitary win out of the eight matches they played, losing five with the remaining two games ending in a draw.
Kerala, who are placed in the Elite-A division, will begin their 2022 Ranji Trophy campaign on February 17. The team will clash with Meghalaya, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in Rajkot.
Kerala squad: Sachin Baby (Cap), Vishnu Vinod (V.Cap, WK), Anand Krishnan, Rohan Kunnumel, Vatsal Govind, Rahul P, Salman Nizar, Jalaj Saxena, Sijomon Joseph, Akshay KC, Mithun S, Basil NP, Nideesh MD, Manu Krishnan, Basil Thampi, Fanoos F, Sreesanth S, Varun Nayanar, Vinoop Manoharan, Eden Apple Tom