Corporate Social Negligence!

IPL comes to Kerala

Posted in Football, Indian Football, Kerala, sports by clash on March 30, 2010

In 2002 0r something when Tinu Yohannan  made it in to the Indian team from Kerala, renowned writer/cricket historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in his column that, this is it. Cricket has vanquished football and athletics as a sport in kerala.  Tinu was never  a successful cricketer and played only very few matches for the nation.

Guha seemed to have comfortably omitted the fact that Tinu was a superior athlete than a cricketer. I always felt he simply switched over to cricket because cricket is the only sport in India in which you can cut a career. Well, Tinu is the son of an Asian Games  Long Jump gold medalist, T.C. Yohannan.

Guha, the cricketing elitist that he is, was more interested in painting a suave picture of some Balan Pandit, who always used to top the score cards for Kerala in Ranji Trophy with the runs he scored.  Guha imagined him in his blue blazers driving down the Wayanad hills in his Willys Jeep and then scoring all those runs for the Kerala cricket team.

The fact is that Balan Pandit fails to kindle my imagination. I am not overwhelmed by the blue blazers and Willys Jeep. Instead, i would take the urchin who sold soda bottles in Thrissur municipal stadium, who later went on to don Indian colors in football – I.M. Vijayan as my hero.  I am sure there are quite a few thousands like me.

After Tinu, Sreesanth happened, ODI matches came to Kaloor International stadium and sorts. Cricket has not yet got a foothold in Kerala. Can IPL sustain itself in a place where cricket doesn’t occupy the sensibilities of the crowd? If they have to make a mark, i feel the team has to be successful on the field. Will this consortium pump in money to get real good cricketers who can earn the results? Will this 5 company consortium roll on? Will this open door for Kerala cricketers? Will the team be called Cochin Coconuts? There are so many questions.

Being an IPL city might be good for Kochi, its tourism and sorts.  If am to be very frank, i really dont want this to take off. I am not really bothered about Kerala cricket.

so is it the End of the road for future Vijayans, Pappachans?

We will have to wait and see.

I am off for Golden Threads FC Vs BEML, i-league 2nd div matches are happening in Bangalore. Well, i am trying to sneak out of office.



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2 Responses

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  1. Michael said, on April 1, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Yes… I am one of the thousands like you……I will forever be a vijayan fan…..I remember Pappachan’s second goal against Maharashtra in the 1993 Santhosh trophy final like it happened yesterday. My memories growing up in Trivandrum are full of the exploits of Kerala Police & Titanium…sadly things have changed…hopefully Viva Kerala will be around for some time unlike FC Kochin.

    But I think you are being too harsh on cricket….cricket has steadily grown football hasn’t

    The Kochi IPL team was a surprise, I think it is here to stay and will do a lot of good for kochin. Football has grassroots passion and solid players, now we need investors to build and maintain great clubs. I am waiting for that day….

  2. clash said, on April 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for dropping in.

    Yes, i also live relishing all those football memories. Pappachan, Vijayan, sharafali and all.

    Cricket definitely has grown but it has not yet grown to that level where it might replace football or athletics in our state.

    Was recently attending the 2nd div i-league matches happening here in bangalore, happened to catch up with a manager of sorts of Chandini FC from Kozhikkode, he confirmed that people even attend the local kozhikkode league. a minimum of 5000 still comes for viva kerala matches.
    We definitely do have stars who are celebrated in sports like basket ball – geethu anna jose.

    I have played a fair amount of cricket myself and in no way i am against the sport but as a malayali it is difficult to shift my loyalty from football to cricket 🙂


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