Five Keralites to light up inaugural Indian Street Premier League

Five Keralites to light up ISPL
From left: Vivek K Mohan, K L Mansoor, Ashique Ali, K K Hareesh Kumar and B Sumesh.

Mulakunnathukavu (Thrissur): Five Kerala-based cricketers have been roped in by different franchises featuring in the inaugural Indian Street Premier League (ISPL), which will be held in Mumbai from March 6 to 15. 

The ISPL T10 tennis ball cricket tournament will have six teams in the fray. The teams are owned by franchises representing Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, and Srinagar.

Vivek K Mohan and K L Mansoor (Thrissur), K K Hareesh Kumar (Kottayam), B Sumesh (Thiruvananthapuram), and Ashique Ali (Kasaragod) are among the 96 players signed by the six franchises at the first-ever ISPL auction held on Sunday. 

Vivek was snapped up by Falcon Risers Hyderabad and Sumesh by Srinagar Ke Veer, while Mansoor, Ashique and Hareesh Kumar were bought by Bengaluru Strikers. 

Vivek is the most expensive player from south India. A native of Mulankunnathukavu, he attracted a bid of Rs 5.25 lakh from Falcon Risers at the auction. Bengaluru spent Rs 3.2 lakh to sign Mansoor, while the other three were purchased for their base price of Rs 3 lakh. 

Vivek, a civil police officer at the Kerala Police's Armed Reserve Camp in Thrissur, has availed five-year leave for playing in the ISPL. He started playing cricket at the age of 16 at Thadaparambu Sruthilayam Cricket Club in his locality. An all-rounder, Vivek has played for various clubs at district and state-levels. He has also plied his trade in franchise leagues in the Middle East. He is getting ready to join the Falcon Risers' training camp in Hyderabad, which begins on Friday. 

Mansoor, who fell in love with cricket at the tender age of three, is a native of Puthanchira near Mala. A former member of the Calicut University cricket team, Mansoor has also played for various clubs in Kerala and in the Middle East. 

Ashique, a native of Bekkal, is currently playing for a league side in Kolkata. He will join the Bengaluru Strikers' training camp on Thursday. 

Hareesh Kumar, an MSc Chemistry student at Mahatma Gandhi University, started playing cricket at the age of 15. A native of Kanakkary, he is also an accomplished footballer.  

Sumesh, who is known as 'Gayle Kuttappan' in cricketing circles due to his six-hitting abilities, hails from Meenankal near the capital city. He was a member of the Kerala University cricket team and has played for various clubs in the state. He has also featured for Kerala Strikers in the Celebrity Cricket League.

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