J. K. Mahindra, P. Balachandran, K. Viswanath, S. K. Nair and Tinu Yohannan at MBIFL 2020
Thiruvananthapuram: What does Kerala need to do to turn itself into a cricketing power in India and provide more players to the national team?
This was the major question that was discussed by the panel of former cricketer and industrialist J. K. Mahindra, former cricketer, coach and sports writer P. Balachandran, former BCCI secretary S. K. Nair, award winning journalist K. Viswanath and former Indian player Tinu Yohannan at MBIFL.
The panelists were discussing ‘Kerala Cricket Neenal Vazhumo’ (will Kerala cricket reign supreme). Viswanath acted as the moderator.
They stressed that performance in Ranji Trophy was the key to securing national call ups and Kerala’s performance in the ongoing season was not helping.
S. K. Nair said that domestic performance was the decisive factor based on which selectors picked players for the national team. He added that though Kerala secured quarter and semi final births in the two following seasons, the present season left a lot to be desired.
Balachandran said that the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) needed to be faster and sharper in implementing new policies. He added that KCA needed to have a clear plan and act accordingly.
J. K. Mahindra said that Kerala needs to find more time for its players to play in the longer formats of the game. He suggested that KCA take efforts to bring back club tournaments. He added that better talent could be developed if KCA could provide contracts to a few selected players in its academy.
Narrating his experience in the Indian Test and One Day squad, Tinu Yohannan said that consistent performance was the key to finding a place in the national team. Tinu added that he was never ignored because he was from the south side.
What happened with S. Sreesanth was unfortunate, the panelists opined. Mahindra hoped that the pacer would make a comeback to the Kerala team soon.