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Raiphy to play for Rajasthan Royals

M.R. Praveen Chandran

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Ranji Trophy and former India under-17 player Raiphy Vincent Gomez is set to become the second player from the State to play in the Indian Premier League. The 24-year-old SBT employee was offered a central contract by Rajasthan Royals, the Jaipur franchise of the IPL, for the 2009 season.

“I am thrilled and looking forward to the stint with Rajasthan Royals. I am indebted to Sreesanth and my coach Biju George for this,” said the Kerala opener who had won the prestigious Border Gavaskar scholarship in 2003.

Sreesanth’s recommendation

It was his bosom friend Sreesanth who recommended Raiphy’s name to the management of Rajasthan Royals. Raiphy was called to attend the trials in Jaipur in November 2008. “There were around 30 first class cricketers from all over India for the trials. I batted in only one innings and made a quick 20 off 10 balls. But honestly I didn’t expect to be selected,” he said.

A letter of intent (LOI) was mailed to Raiphy after a few days after the trials seeking his consent to join the franchise. However, a disastrous performance in the Ranji Trophy made him fear that he would lose the offer from Rajasthan Royals. Raiphy was thinking of taking part in trials of other IPL franchises when he received the copy of the contract.

KKR trainees

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders has signed M.E. Sanuth, Mohammed Niyaz and Sanju Samson for the Knight Riders Academy for a period for five years. The trio, who are trainees of the Kerala State Sports Council’s Regional Coaching Centre, will receive scholarship and an opportunity to train in the world class training facilities at the academy.

Rohan Prem, the highest run-scorer for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy this season, was also called for the selection trials by Kolkata Knight Raiders, and has been short-listed for selection. Another promising youngster Jiju Janardhanan has also received offers from many IPL franchises.

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