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Cricket was relatively an unknown game in Kerala until it was brought here by the British who colonized the State and left behind their indelible mark in the history of this Southern State. The game was played mostly by the British officers and soldiers in their spare time. The natives learned the game by watching them play and some on the staff of the offices were fortunate enough to be taught by the British themselves.

But cricket was frowned upon as a vestige of western culture and football and volleyball remained the favourites sports in Kerala. It would continue to be the same for decades. But game of cricket was popular in certain pockets which had an undue influence of foreigners. When India became free in 1947, Kerala was made up of two princely states, Travancore and Cochin and Malabar which was under the direct administration of the British and Latin. With the reorganisation of the States in 1956, Travancore-Cochin and Malabar were united to form the State of Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram, popularly known as Trivandrum is the Capital of the State of Kerala in the Republic of India. The City is named after Anantha, the Mythical Serpent upon which Lord Vishnu rests. The largest City in the State, it had also been the Capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Travancore. Rightly known as the Evergreen City of India, it is built on and around seven hills like the ancient City of Rome. Though geographically sizeable as any other major Indian Cities, it had always been a quiet and idyllic Town which along with Bangalore and Mysore had often been referred as a pensioner's paradise owing to its clean air and green Cityscape. Trivandrum had also been a seat of advanced Learning and efficient Administration; thanks to the far sighted and benevolent monarchs who ruled it. Though it had been the Political Capital of the State, Trivandrum hardly had any major industries and business houses in the olden days. The chief vocation of People in and around the City was Government Service and allied occupations. Football and Volleyball had been the favoured Sports of the laymen while Lawn Tennis and Golf were trendy amongst the elite.

All the maidans and playgrounds in the city either had a volleyball court or a football field. Cricket as a game was in its infancy and a few played the game and often it has to jostle for space with other sports which had a huge patronage of the general public The game of cricket thrived in educational institutions mostly in schools and colleges and the number of cricket clubs were a few a far between.

Cricket as a game became very popular in the country in the 70's. India's twin success in England and West Indies triggered an interest that percolated down to different parts of India. Kerala in general and Thiruvananthapuram in particular was no exception. The game got noticed by the public. More and more people were attracted to the game and started playing cricket. New clubs were formed in the 70's. The game of cricket slowly grew in popularity charts. The advent of institution teams like SBT, Keltron, AG's office in the 70's saw some of the best players in the State ply their trade in the capital city India's World Cup triumph in 1983 sparked off a revolution in India. Cricket became a big sport in the country and there was a huge interest in cricket in Thiruvananthapuram. Cricket replaced football as the most popular sport in the city and it attracted more youngsters. There was surfeit of new clubs which sprouted in and around the city. The club cricket became more organized and Thriuvananthapuram league which boasted a few institution teams was one of the strongest in the State. Thiruvananthapuram has now stolen a march over other districts by changing the format of the 'A' division league. The 'A' division matches will now be a two-day affair and it was one of the first districts where all league matches are played on turf wickets.

Though State Bank of Travancore is the undisputed champion for many years, other clubs have improved and it is no longer a cakewalk for the champion club in recent years. The leagues from 'A' to 'H' division are closely fought and perhaps, Thriuvananthapuram is the only district in the State to have an inter-institution tournament. One of the achievements of the district is the successful conduct of the tournament involving the different IT firms in Technopark. The Thiruvananthapuram district cricket association holds annual summer coaching camps regularly. It has initiated steps to conduct coaching camps in the outskirts of the city like Balarampuram and Nedumangad to spread the game to the masses. The TDCA has implemented KCA's programme cricket @ school and has conducted a seminar to enlighten the physical education teachers of schools in the district about the game.

The district association is working closely with KCA to build a cricket stadium here in the district. MOU has been signed with St.Xavier's College Thumba to construct a stadium at the college premises. The game will get a big fillip in the district when the stadium gets ready. At present the league matches are conducted at Medical College Ground,Agriculture College Ground and occasionally at LNCPE Ground.

With the laying of synthetic track at the University Stadium, which held two International matches and numerous first class matches has become out of bounds for cricket. Cricket aficionados are hopeful that Thiruvananthapuram will one day get its own cricket stadium.

Keston Club in Kawdiar and Trivandrum Cricket Club were the pioneers in spreading the game of cricket in the district. PM Krishnan was the founder member of the Trivandrum Cricket Club and he along with KV Kelappan was one of the secretaries of the Travancore-Cochin Cricket Association. Krishnan hailed from the Mampilly family wand was brother of PM Raghavan. His Nephew - PMK Mohandas, PMK Raghunath and PMK Premnath went on to serve the State in Ranji Trophy with distinction-- and played their part in the evolution of the game in the district.

N Subramania Pillai, who later became the Deputy Mayor of Trivandrum Corportaion was fondly known as Douglas to everyone. An ardent fan of Hollywood matinee idol Douglas Fir Banks, he was the moving force behind the keston club. He along with Sathi (Satya Vageeswaran) and PS Mahadevan (Balan) foresaw a period that saw full of trials and tribulations. Their successors N Krishnan Nair (Ammachan, the uncle) President of Kerala Cricket Association for several years, Paul Paliath Paul did excellent work as secretary, Kerala's representative to BCCI and as Commentator, A Balakrishnan, K Mohanachandran, Prof AS Balakrishnan, ACM Abdulla, Jack Mohan, SK Nair, G Madhavan Nair and R Kumaraswamy Chettiar, Jack Mohan, S Karnunakaran Nair, S Ramachandran Nair and Dr.R Anil Kumar had all carried on the pioneering work of their predecessors. Both Trivandrum Cricket and Kerala Cricket at large owes a great deal to these dedicated administrators.

Model School, Raja Kesavadas High School, Sasthamangalam, Salvation Army School and SMV School had good cricket teams. Trivandrum Engineering College, Medical College, University College, Government Intermediate College (the present Arts College) MG College and Mar Ivanios College were some of the colleges where the game was played.

Those early years of Trivandrum Cricket were full of trials and tribulations with an extremely fragile organization to regulate its affairs. The game was hardly popular. There were only a few matches and added to this, Kerala was eliminated in the first round itself of all major BCCI tournaments. There was just the University Stadium with its make shift pavilion and a null balance account.

The first coach to Trivandrum was KS Kannan of Madras. In the early 50's he trained mostly the college and private club players. Then for a few weeks the great CK Nayudu coached the youngsters of the City. The colonel was a tough task master and he never tolerated shoddy fielding. Next was the turn of the NIS Coach Bhoopathy of Hyderabad

The story of Trivandrum cricket would not be complete without appreciating the generosity of Shri SV Pundit, who toiled for the growth and promotion of the game in Travancore, who was the president of Travancore District Cricket Association for many years. A business magnate and president of Chamber of Commerce, he funded the State's teams participation in many Ranji Trophy matches played outside the State. He remained as the president till his death. At every election he offered to step down and every election found him unanimously elected to the post..

But the man who strode Kerala Cricket and Trivandrum cricket as a colossus was the legendary Col.Godavarma Raja of the Travancore Royal Family. A Prince among sportsmen and a sportsman among princes, Col.Raja was responsible for putting Kerala in the sports and Tourist map of India. A Keen Sportsman himself he played all the games, though he had weakness for Tennis and polo. It was his great vision that led to the development of Kovalam as one of the finest beaches in the world and the commissioning of the Trivandrum air port. He was seldom found in the palace, he was here, there and every where personally monitoring all activities.

For 13 years from 1950 to 1963 he was President of Kerala Cricket Association and was the first person from Kerala to become an office bearer in BCCI when he became its vice-president. Had he not been killed in a tragic an crash he would have become President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Col.Raja still lives in the memory of all lovers of the game and the GV Raja position at the University Stadium, named after him is a fitting tribute to this great son of Kerala.

SK Nair was the face of Kerala cricket for many years. He was the first Keralite to become the BCCI Secretary. SK Nair was the BCCI Secretary from 2003 to 2005 after serving as its Treasurer from 1993 to 97 and as Chairman of Finance committee from 1998 to 2002. He served the Asian Cricket Council as it Treasurer and Secretary. SK Nair was a medium pacer and middle order batsman who was captain of the Kerala Under-25 cricket team for six years. After his playing days he became actively involved in administration and became the President of Kerala Cricket Association. He also served as the Treasurer of the Kerala Sports Council. He took voluntary retirement as sports officer of State Bank of Travancore.

The game really took off in the district when the first inter-schools tournament was on a knock-out basis in 1955. The tournament unearthed several promising players like CK Bhaskar, V Manikanta Kurup, K Rajagopal, D Ram, VN Ramaswamy, AS Balakrishnan, Thanappan (Ranji Player TP Ajith Kumar's father) and a host of others. Bhaskarlater played an unofficial test against Ceylon (Sri Lanka), he also represented Madras. D Ram and Manikanta Kurup represented the State in the Ranji Trophy and V Manikanta Kurup, also became a state selector.

The colleges also produced outstanding cricketers. Prominent among them were PV Shivadas, GM Menon, K Ramachandran, N Padmanabhan endearingly known as "Paddu" the Ball", Prabhakaran and K Madan Mohan, TVS Mani, C Sethunath, TS Venkatachalam, KNN Menon, D Balakrishnan, H Ranganathan, Mohammad Ibrahim and K Ramachandran. PV Shivadas went on to become the principal of a private educational institution but his love for the game remained the same. K Ramachandran was popularly known as `Lindwall Ramachandran', like Lindwall he really loved to bowl fast Ramachandran later became the president of the Kerala Cricket Association.

Though Thiruvananthapuram has produced quite a few talented cricketers none could match the deeds of KN Ananthapadmanabhan on the cricket field. He was a star in his own right A wily leg-spinner, Ananthan as he was called was good enough to play for India but his career coincided with that of Anil Kumble's and his appearances in the big stage was restricted to few matches against visiting overseas teams. However, he was the first player from Kerala to be selected to the India 'A' squad. When Kerala was the punching bag for other teams in the 90's Ananthan's bowling and his five wicket hauls were the only silver lining. He was the first cricketer who instilled a self belief among State cricketers. Kerala started winning matches on strength of his bowling. He was easily the highest wicket taker for Kerala in the premier Ranji Trophy tournament. He played 105 first class matches and took 344 wickets. Ananthan was a competent batsman and even scored a double century in Ranji Trophy. His 2891 first class runs is a testimony to his prowess as a batsman. Fittingly he was the Kerala captain when the State qualified for the knock out stage for the first time in its history in 1992. At the end of his playing career, Ananthan cleared the Level-II coaching examination conducted by National Cricket Academy and also qualified as a First Class Umpire in the Ranji Panel of Board of Control for Cricket in India. He also served as a Member BCCI Junior selection Committee in the 2006/07. Ananthan's brother KN Balasubramanium was a dashing opener who played for the State with distinction. Though he couldn't match his younger brother's achievement on the field, Balasubramanium was a devastating batsman and on his day could put any attack to the sword. He somehow failed to reproduce his club form in the big stage and his measly return of just one fifty from 20 matches doesn't do justice to his awesome talent.

Godwin brothers were perhaps the first set of brothers to have represented the State from Thiruvananthapuram. PT Godwin, JY Godwin and NS Godwin had varied success at the highest level. PT Godwin had probably the best record among his brothers as a bowler with his wily off-breaks he scalped 55 wickets and was also a decent performer with the bat. He was one who was never shy of a fight and his enthusiasm for the game was infectious, He continued to take part in the Thiruvananthapuram league for his club when he was in mid 40's. The eldest of the brothers NS Godwin was a competent batsman and represented the State in 29 Ranji matches.

Subramanium Ramesh, Subramanium Rajesh and Subramanium Santosh had the rare distinction of playing Ranji Trophy matches together. S Ramesh and S Rajesh was the unique pair of brothers to have captained the Kerala Ranji Trophy team. S Ramesh in a career spanning more than a decade played 56 matches for the State and was captain. He instilled self belief among the players. He dared to dream big and tired of Kerala being the punching bag he wanted to break the convention and blooded youngsters. KN Ananthapadmanabhan, PG Sundar, Feroz V Rasheed blossomed under his captaincy; He was the first captain to draft guest players into the Kerala squad. He was instrumental in getting B Ramprakash, who represented Tamil Nadu as a youngster, to play in Ranji Trophy for Kerala Ramprakash's successful stint with Kerala is stuff of legends. Kerala carried on with his legacy. After retirement as player he is now a much respected match referee and also serves as cricket manager of the Kerala Cricket Association. His younger brother S Rajesh also was the captain of Kerala but didn't enjoy his brother's cult status. Neverthless, he left his indelible mark in history of Kerala. After his retirement he was into coaching. He was guiding force behind the emergence of Cricket Academy the first of its kind in Thiruvananthapuram. He died at the age of 50. S Santosh a decent off-break was the youngest of the lot and represented the State for more than 30 matches.

A left-handed stylish bat, Rohan Prem is the current (2009/10) Kerala captain and of the one of the brightest talents produced by the district. Rohan steadily rose through the ranks. After having represented Kerala in all under age group categories and struck centuries it was only natural that this left-hander would cement his place in the senior squad. After representing India in the Under-19s cricket match against England Under-19s, Rohan made his much awaited Ranji Trophy debut against Rajasthan in 2005-06 season. Rohan quickly established himself as a reliable middle order batsmen and was easily the most consistent batsman for Kerala in the last couple of seasons. He quickly crossed 1000 runs in Ranji Trophy and his consistency has been rewarded with a place in the South Zone Duleep Trophy squad.

An explosive batsman, Raiphy Vincent Gomez hasn't done potential to his awesome talent. A winner of the Border-Gavaskar scholarship, Raiphy represented India Under-17 squad but his career never took off. A regular in Kerala Ranji Trophy squad, Raiphy's elevation as an opener has curbed his natural game in the longer format of the game. Raiphy showed glimpses of his talent with a fastest 50 (off 22 balls) against Hyderabad in Chennai last year. He mauled DB Ravi Teja scoring 34 runs off a single over which included five sixes and a four. He has two centuries to his credit in Ranji Trophy but considering his talent these are small returns. Raiphy is capable of bigger deeds and coming seasons will see him in full cry.

Sambasiva Sharma walked into records books as the only cricketer from Kerala to score centuries in both innings in a Ranji Trophy match. He achieved that feat against Haryana in Palakkad scoring 103 and 111 not out and carried Kerala out of the woods. But Sambasiva Sharma after a bright start to his career in 2008 season has not reproduced the same form last season and will under pressure to perform. Sambasiva Sharma steadily rose through the ranks after having represented the State in different age group categories. He has temperament to play the big innings and despite a blip in his career can become one of the best in Kerala.

Sanju is essentially one of the finest Kerala batsmen has ever produced and is a fine wicket keeper too; though he is better known for his batting skills. He had announced his arrival at a very early age of 12 by scoring 973 runs including 4 centuries in 5 matches of the Inter-State Under-13 Tournament 2007/08 hosted by the Karnataka State Cricket Association. Later, he had led the Under-16s and Under-19s sides of the State with distinction, where his performances with both the bat and glove had helped Kerala to secure a place in the Elite league of the Cooch Behar Trophy. He made his first class debut in 2011/12 at the age of 17. He was included in the Indian Under-19s squad for the Asia cup. 2013 had been particularly good for Sanju as he had scored 2 First Class Centuries and was drafted to the IPL team Rajasthan Royals under the stewardship of the great wall Rahul Dravid. Sanju had performed well with both the bat and gloves in the tournament and had won the best young player of the League. He holds the record of being the youngest half centurion in the IPL. Sanju had been chosen as the vice captain of the India Under-19s side touring Australia in 2013.

P Prasanth is a left-hand batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He has represented all age groups for Kerala, Owing to his all-round skills, he was signed by Kochi Tuskers Kerala for the fourth edition of the IPL. In 2013, the Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for the sixth edition, In the currect season 2013/14 his all-round performance is much helpful for his team to reach the Super League stage in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T/20), he get 14 wickets and became the 3rd top wicket taker in India

Jose Kurishinkal was the first First-class as well as International Umpire from Kerala. An engineer by profession, Jose was a good leg-spinner during his playing days. He has officiated in 3 ODIs as on-field Umpire and in 1 as the TV Umpire. Apart from these, he had officiated in 19 First-class matches, 10 List-A matches and numerous junior matches. He was widely regarded as a good Umpire and it was widely believed in the circuit that he would be appointed to officiate in test matches; if not he had not chosen to retire earlier for pursuing his engineering career oversees. Jose was instrumental in mentoring budding Umpires and even today he gets involved in Umpire training. He had also served as the Secretary of the Trivandrum District Cricket Association. Currently Trivandrum has 21 qualified Coaches with two BCCI-Level-III coaches Biju George and G Jayakumar, five Level-II coaches and fourteen Level-I coaches.

There are two national panel scorers, SN Sudhir Aly and V Arun . Aaron George Thomas and A Sivasundar are the qualified video analyst from the District. Aaron is the regular member of the India A side as Video Analyst