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Former Kerala cricket team captain Ravi Achan passes away

P. Ravi Achan, former Kerala cricket captain and the first allrounder from the State to achieve a double (1000 runs and 100 wickets) in the Ranji Trophy, passed away at Tripunithura on Monday night. He was 96.

Born on March 12 1928, Ravi had an unusually long career. His most active period was from 1952 to 1970, playing Ranji Trophy till he was 41. His career-high score of 70 came in his last game, against Madras in Tirunelveli in 1969.

Ravi played at a time when Ranji teams in Kerala did not even have a preparatory camp, travelled in unreserved compartments, and for nearly five years when the National Championship was played in a knockout format.

He played a big role in starting the learning process for Kerala cricket which was often left battered with heavy losses frequently.

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He read about what Australian legend Don Bradman had to say about batting, from magazines, and tried to follow that. Having played against many Indian greats, including B. S. Chandrasekhar, E. A. S. Prasanna, S. Venkataraghavan and M. L. Jaisimha, he picked up quality cricket.

He was a fine bowler, too, and had a mix of everything, mainly leg-spin and medium pace. His best figures (6-34) came in 1960 when Kerala thrashed Andhra at Guntur.

He was also a big hit at Tripunithura’s Pooja tournament, one of the world’s oldest limited-overs tournaments, and lit up the Palace Oval there even after he had crossed 50.

The last rites will be held on Tuesday.

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