KOCHI: Former Kerala Ranji Trophy cricket team captain Babu Acharath passed away in Kannur on Tuesday. He was 82.An all-rounder during his playing days, Babu captained the Kerala side that recorded its first Ranji Trophy victory on Kerala soil in 1963.
Born at Thalassery on June 2, 1936, Babu started playing for the Travancore-Kochi team in 1953 before representing Kerala after the formation of the state. He scored 202 runs and scalped six wickets for Kerala from 14 first-class matches between 1957 and 1966.
Babu also captained the state in five Ranji Trophy matches during the 1963-64 domestic season beginning with the match against Madras at the Little Flower High School ground in Salem. He also led the side against Mysore in then Bangalore, Hyderabad in Kozhikode and Madras in hometown Thalassery that season.
But his biggest moment as captain came against Andhra Pradesh at the Municipal Stadium in Thalassery on December 14-17, 1963 -- a match which Kerala won by four wickets to register their first home victory in the prestigious competition. After retirement, Babu served as the coach of Calicut University side for 22 years starting in 1972.