Robin Uthappa yet to accept KCA offer

The batsman has been offered the captain’s position in the Kerala team for Ranji Trophy.

Robin Uthappa plays for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

He was offered the captaincy of the Kerala Ranji Trophy team but former India cricketer Robin Uthappa is yet to sign on the dotted line.

With his home State, the Karnataka State Cricket Association, granting him the no-objection certificate (NOC) the other day, there was speculation that Uthappa would be joining Kerala as a guest player. “Yes, we had been touch for some time but we have not signed any agreement with Uthappa. Nothing has been finalised,” said Jayesh George, the Kerala Cricket Association Secretary, on Tuesday.

“He had sent some terms and we also sent our reply some two to three weeks ago but he has not replied so far.”

George revealed that the 31-year-old Uthappa, whose mother has her roots in Kerala, wanted another player to be included in the Kerala team as part of the deal. And that appears to be the hitch.

“He wanted Amit Verma, the former Karnataka player who played for us earlier (Verma played for Assam last season), to be included. We can’t, we said. We said that we have the selection committee and cricket development committee, so we cannot finalise those things. Also, we have a new coach (Australian Dav Whatmore). But after that he has not replied to us,” said the KCA Secretary.

“We already have Jalaj Saxena (the all-rounder from Madhya Pradesh), so we need one opener. If Uthappa comes, the opener and captaincy issues will be solved. Uthappa will be the captain. We hear that Uthappa is currently abroad but we also hear that he is in talks with Vidarbha. Vidarbha has released Wasim Jaffer recently, so we don’t know.”