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Kerala has always been in the forefront in its bid to foster sporting talent in India. Though Keralites in general favor football over any other sport, there were a few pioneers in cricket as well.

The Mambally family of Clincher, contributed greatly to the enrichment of the game. PM Raghavan, who led the first Travancore-Cochin team in the Ranji Trophy in 1951, was a hard hitting batsman and an astute captain.

KV Kellappan Thampuran was the live wire behind the great achievements of the Tripunithura Cricket club, formed in 1935. It was he who was the brain behind the limited over format. Col. Godavarma Raja of the Travancore royal family was responsible for putting Kerala on the sports and tourist map of India. The Kerala Cricket Association emerged from the Travancore-Cochin Cricket Association formed by him in 1950. He was the first from the state to become a vice-president of the BCCI.

There were certain inbuilt problems that hindered the progress of Kerala cricket. Due to the monsoons, the season could only start in October as opposed to June-July in other states. The absence of decent turf pitches and of finance were further handicaps.

Gradually however, things made a turn for the better and through the sixties, Kerala participated in the various inter-school and age group tournaments run by the BCCI.

KCA has shown that its administrators are brilliant organizers. Tinu Yohannan and Sreesanth have proved that Kerala has the potential to produce very talented Test cricketers. And as KCA goes to the diamond jubilee in the first decade of the new millennium, there are strong signs that things are indeed looking bright for cricket in Kerala.


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