Years after being away from the action, pace bowler S Sreesanth is set to return to red-ball cricket at the age of 39. The Kerala Cricket Association has named the right-arm quick in the 20-man squad for the upcoming season of Ranji Trophy, which begins on Thursday. Earlier, the veteran cricketer also registered himself for the mega Indian Premier League auctions, scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13.
The team also features four debutants. 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Varun Nayanar, 17-year-old pacer Eden Apple Tom, right-arm pacer Fanoos F, and opener Anand Krishnan are the new faces included in the squad.
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Coach Tinu Yohannan has heaped praise on the youngsters. Speaking with The New Indian Express, he said the association wants to try out a mix of experience and youth in order to rebuild the team.
“Eden came in as a net bowler during the camp. He was not in the preliminary squad but we were all impressed by the potential he showed. He was the quickest among all the bowlers and he is just 17. He has all the attributes to be a really good fast bowler in the future,” said Tinu.
“When it comes to the multi-day format, we are in a rebuilding process and needed a good mix of experience and youth. We have to build the right foundation for the future and we decided to invest in youth,” he added.
Speaking about Sreesanth’s return, the Kerala head coach said the bowler will be expected to contribute with his experience and presence.
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“What we saw in the camp, we feel Sreesanth can still play first-class cricket. But we expect him to contribute not just with his performance but also with his experience and presence. He will bring a holistic contribution to the dressing room, especially when it comes to guiding the youngsters,” added Tinu.
The team will be led by Sachin Baby while Vishnu Vinod will act as his deputy. Sanju Samson misses out as he is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
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