Kerala cricket legend Ravi Achan dies at 96

P Ravi Achan. File photo: Manorama

Kochi: Paliath Ravi Achan, a legend of Kerala cricket, passed away at Tripunithura here on Monday. He was 96.

Ravi Achan, the first Kerala player to cross 1,000 runs and bag 100 wickets in first-class cricket, played a huge role in promoting the game in the state.

He was popular around the Tripunithura Cricket Club, which was his home turf. But Ravi Achan also became known as captain of the state team on several occasions.

As a leg-break bowler and sometimes medium pacer, Ravi Achan gave a memorable performance in Kerala's historic 34-run win over Andhra in the 1960-61 season. He famously scored a 70 in a Ranji Trophy match at the age of 40.

He was born on March 12, 1928, and was educated in Tripunithura, Thrissur and later at the Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, where he was attracted to cricket. He became active in the game during his Law College days in Ernakulam.

His performances in the Pooja Cricket Tournament held in his hometown paved the way for his entry to the Ranji team. In his debut first-class match in 1952, against Mysore, Ravi Achan top scored with 43 runs while his Thiru Kochi side folded for a paltry 86. He went on to play well into his 40s.

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