Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has appointed former India medium pacer Tinu Yohannan as the coach of the Kerala Ranji Trophy cricket team for the upcoming season.

The decision was taken at the general body meeting of KCA which was held through video conference on  Monday. The KCA's cricket advisory committee had recommended Tinu Yohannan's name from five candidates and it was accepted by the general body. The meeting also entrusted KCA office-bearers to choose the coaches for Kerala junior teams for the upcoming season.

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The meeting also decided to start the functioning of KCA's high performance centre in Alappuzha only after receiving permission from the State government. The inter-district and zonal tournaments for this season will be rescheduled . In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the elections to Kasargod, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Malappuram and Pathanamthitta district cricket associations will be held only after the completion of district leagues in these districts. The exisiting office-bearers and executive committees in these districts will continue till the next elections.

-"Huge honour" -

"It is a huge honour as well as a challenge,'' said Tinu, who will begin his second stint as Kerala's chief coach. Tinu was serving as the director of Kerala Cricket Association's (KCA) High Performance Centre in Alappuzha when he was chosen for the job by KCA.

Tinu's first tenure was restricted to three matches when he was appointed as the interim coach after the sacking of P. Balachandran midway during the 2016 season.

"I am not new to the job. I have been associated with the team as a bowling coach and assistant coach for several years. It feels great when you are made coach of a team for which you have played for 12 years,'' said Tinu.

"I know the expectations will be high especially after the poor performance  last season. It is a fresh challenge but an opportunity for me. I think, since I have known all the players for many years, my job will be a little easier. I have played with senior players like Rohan Prem and Sachin Baby and against Robin Uthappa. So I don't think I will have any problem dealing with them,'' he added.

Tinu said he will chalk up the future coaching plans once the restrictions are lifted by the State Government.