Sandeep Warrier, who has been the frontline fast bowler for Kerala over the last few domestic seasons after Sreesanth’s ban from Cricket following the 2013 spot fixing scandal, has decided to shift loyalties towards Tamil Nadu.
In what turned out to be a big bolt out of the blue for Kerala, 29 year old Warrier, on Tuesday requested the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) for a No Objection Certificate to make this move formal and indications are that members of the state cricket body wouldn’t stand in his way.
A couple of months ago, Warrier denied speculations about his move to Tamil Nadu, after reports emerged that he reportedly said ‘yes’ when the TNCA approached him about the move.
Citing his move to Tamil Nadu for personal reasons, and the fact that leaving his birthplace has been a tough decision to make, Warrier, who have played 57 first class matches in all, taking 186 wickets, explained his decision to move to Tamil Nadu. Speaking to the Times of India, he said, “I loved playing for Kerala. But there comes a time when you have to make tough choices in life. And I feel that time has now come for me. Since I started training at the MRF pace foundation almost eight years ago, my cricketing set-up has revolved around Chennai apart from the times I played for Kerala in the domestic circuit. Last year I got a job in Chennai and got married to a girl from Chennai too. So I think my future is going to be based out of this city. So my move to Tamil Nadu is purely due to personal reasons.”
Warrier, who was born in Ollur, said that Kerala cricket grown by leaps and bounds in the eight years he has played for them and has made many friends along the way, whom he will miss the most. He said, “There has been extra-ordinary improvement in Kerala’s performance in the recent past. Though the performance of the team was not up to scratch last season, the players have the self-belief to bounce back. I am sure that team is going to achieve a lot of success in the coming years.”
Warrier, who made his first class debut against Goa in Perinthalmanna, has been the spearhead for Kerala in the fast bowling department over the years. In 2018/19, he took 44 wickets in 10 Ranji Trophy matches to help his team secure a semi final berth in the premium domestic tournament.