This was Kerala's second victory on the trot in Elite Group C.
Kerala's outstation professional Jalaj Saxena was picked up by Punjab Kings for his base price of Rs 30 lakh.
Leggie Rojith is the surprise entry, while pacer Sreesanth missed out.
Sachin Baby will lead Kerala in the forthcoming Vijaya Hazare Trophy.
Pacer S Sreesanth is also part of the 20-member team.
Royals, with Sanju at the helm, will be tempted to rope in young opener Mohammed Azharuddeen. However, other teams too will be keen on signing 'Junior Azhar'.
Haryana topped Elite Group E with an all-win record and booked their place in the quarterfinals
Andhra rode on Ashwin Hebbar's 48 and Ambati Rayudu's unbeaten 38 to chase down the modest target of 113 in 17.1 overs.
KCA Royals, KCA Tigers, KCA Tuskers, KCA Eagles, KCA Panthers and KCA Lions are the six teams in the fray.
Whatmore was not keen to extend his stay in Kerala. His decision came in the wake of the team’s relegation to Elite Group 'C' in Ranji Trophy this season.