Ranji Trophy: Kerala coach Balachandran sacked

The Kerala Cricket Association has sacked its Ranji Trophy coach P. Balachandran midway through the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.

Balachandran was removed for failing to garner good results for Kerala this season.   -  Stan Rayan

The Kerala Cricket Association has sacked its Ranji Trophy coach P. Balachandran midway through the season.

Former Test cricketer and now bowling coach Tinu Yohannan has been given the role of chief coach for the rest of the season. Rajagopal, who is the coach of the Under-23 C. K. Nayudu Trophy team, is now Tinu’s deputy.

Balachandran was removed for failing to garner good results for Kerala, which has so far failed to register even one win in the tournament. Kerala is lying fifth in Group C with 12 points. Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) top brass was also not happy with Balachandran's tactics and team composition during the tournament.

Under Balachandran, Kerala had nearly made it into the final of the Syed Mustaq Ali T20 tournament last season.

Overhaul

The selectors have also overhauled the Ranji team, making five changes for the next match against Goa, which will be held in Mumbai. Wicketkeeper-batsman Nikilesh Surendran, Manu Krishnan, Nithish and Robert Fernandez were dropped from the squad while Jalaj Saxena is injured. Jalaj bowled but didn't bat in the last match against Haryana.

The selectors have included opening batsman and wicketkeeper Mohammed Azharudeen, Salman Nizar, K. C. Akshay, Akshay Chandran and Fabid Ahmed in the squad. The five Under-23 players were rewarded for their consistent performance in the C. K. Nayudu Trophy cricket tournament in which Kerala topped its group to qualify for the next stage.