Kerala is a state that might not be synonymous with cricket, but the game is very popular in the state. Only three Kerala-born cricketers (Sanju Samson, S Sreesanth, Tinu Yohannan) have gone on to represent India and among them, only one (Sreesanth) played for a period of time.
Kerala started competing from the 1957-58 season. They have played over 300 first-class matches and more than 125 List ‘A’ games. In the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, Kerala qualified for the quarter-finals and made history as they went past the group stage for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Over the years, there have been a few star cricketers who have represented Kerala in professional (domestic) cricket. Who are these cricketers? Let’s look at five such top players who have played for Kerala at some point in their careers.
#5 Sadagoppan Ramesh
Sadagoppan Ramesh was one of India’s first-choice openers during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He made his international debut in Chennai in a Test match against Pakistan in January 1999. He made 43 off 41 balls in his debut innings against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq.
He scored three consecutive Test fifties against Pakistan in 1999 and also got the coveted maiden ton against Sri Lanka in the same year (1999). He got another couple of half-centuries and also another ton (against New Zealand) by the end of that year (1999). However, his form dipped and after a period of time, the team management lost faith in Ramesh.
He didn’t have a great ODI career. In 24 ODIs, he scored 646 runs (which includes 6 half-centuries) at an average of 28.08. He played his last international game in 2001.
He originally played for Tamil Nadu but for a couple of seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07), he moved to Kerala before moving to Assam in 2007 and finally retiring.