Robin Uthappa, who was one of the stalwarts of Indian cricket scene, made a shocking move to Kerala for the upcoming domestic season, is now on verge of helming the team’s reins for the limited-overs formats for his adopted stateside. There were high speculations of the right-handed batsman leading the team ever since he made the switch.
He was plying his trade for Saurashtra for the past two seasons but then decided to move to the coastal state team. The doubts of him leading Kerala became further cemented when he was named captain for the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) XI versus Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) XI match in the Captain K Thimmappiah Memorial Cricket Tournament in Bengaluru last month, in absence of regular captain Sachin Baby, who missed it due to an injury.
Uthappa to lead Kerala in limited-overs tournaments starting with Vijay Hazare Trophy
On Tuesday, the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), put all the rumors to rest and named Uthappa as the captain for the Vijay Hazare Trophy and also announced that he will lead the team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that follows the Vijay Hazare. They also clarified that no decision has been made yet for the leadership role in the Ranji Trophy.
“Uthappa is an India international and we will like to utilize his experience in the best possible way. We have communicated our decision to coach Dav Whatmore and he has expressed no reservation. We have faith in Robin’s leadership skills and that’s why we have decided to name him captain for the shorter formats,” KCA secretary Sreejith V Nair was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Sachin Baby has led Kerala to quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively in the last two Ranji Trophy seasons, a feat well admired by both the officials and fans, but the officials refused to divulge any details on the captaincy for the elite domestic cricket tournament. “We will evaluate Robin’s captaincy once both Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments end. Ranji Trophy is beginning only in December. So we still have time to take a decision on Kerala’s Ranji Trophy captain,” added Sreejith.
Uthappa has represented India in 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is. He has also played 189 List A matches in a career spanning almost 17 years. By appointing Uthappa as the captain, the association hopes to crush any attempts of groupism or internal fighting that plagued the team recently, which overshadowed the team’s impressive performance in the last two seasons.
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