KOCHI: Former India international Tinu Yohannan who is the head coach of the Kerala cricket team is like a father or a big brother figure to most of the cricketers from the state. Right now, the former pacer faces a tricky challenge of maintaining the morale of the players with still no clarity over the next domestic season, especially the Ranji Trophy, which is the bread and butter for most domestic cricketers.
"With regards to the upcoming domestic season, we really don't know what's ahead. I don't know if there's been any discussion that the BCCI had about the upcoming season. We don't know when or where it will be held but have told the players to be ready," he said.
The Ranji Trophy was scrapped last season due to the pandemic and the 42-year-old felt that it put a lot of strain on a lot of the players.
"If we set aside the players who are with IPL franchises, those relying solely on revenue from First-Class cricket felt the financial strain. They depend on it and players can struggle financially," he said while hoping that the BCCI will do the needful to take care of the players.
Kerala continues to be under lockdown after the state government has continued to extend the lockdown due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation. Currently, it is till June 9, but Tinu is wondering if the lockdown will be lifted after that or will get further extended.
"The government has to first allow sporting activities. Then we can look to have a camp, but we don't know when that will happen. Right now, we have instructed them to try and train at home in whatever way they can. The seniors can take care of themselves and we are mainly focusing on the youngsters," he said.
While the likes of Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby, Robin Uthappa and Basil Thampi would be heading off to UAE for the remainder of the IPL, other players from the state in the senior team will be largely confined to their homes.
And Tinu wants to keep them occupied in the best possible way. "We are in touch with them through digital platforms and give out one or two-week programs based on the lockdown situation. Things like assessment and goal setting are done to make the best of the situation," he said.
Meanwhile, he also hopes that all the players can get vaccinated soon. "We have registered and are looking for available slots. Let's see how it goes," said Yohannan.