The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) have confirmed that veteran batsman Robin Uthappa will lead Kerala in the shorter formats for the upcoming season. An official decision is yet to be taken on who will lead the side for the longer formats, but incumbent Sachin Baby remains the favourite.
The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) have put to bed the speculations and growing rumours surrounding a potential leadership role for Robin Uthappa after confirming that the 33-year-old will be leading the state in both the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20. When Uthappa captained a KCA XI side in the Captain K Thimmappiah Memorial Cricket Tournament in Bengaluru last month, it was suspected whether the veteran would do the same in the regular season. But the KCA have now confirmed it, putting an end to all chatter surrounding the matter.
"Uthappa is an India international and we will like to utilise his experience in the best possible way. We have communicated our decision to coach Dav Whatmore and he has expressed no reservation," KCA secretary Sreejith V Nair was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"We have faith in Robin's leadership skills and that's why we have decided to name him captain for the shorter formats," he added.
However, Nair confirmed that a decision was yet to be taken on who will lead the side in the longer formats. While incumbent Sachin Baby remains favourite, Nair also kept the possibility of Uthappa potentially leading the side in the Ranji Trophy, stating that a decision will be taken after evaluating the Karnataka man's performance in the shorter formats.
"We will evaluate Robin's captaincy once both Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments end. Ranji Trophy is beginning only in December. So we still have time to take a decision on Kerala's Ranji Trophy captain," Nair said.
After 14 years with Karnataka, Uthappa moved to Saurashtra in the 2016/17, but unfortunately missed the entirety of the previous season due to injury. Last month, it was confirmed that the Kolkata Knight Riders man will represent Kerala in the upcoming domestic season.