Dubai: Former Kerala captain Babu Acharath, who had inspired many youngsters to take up cricket, passed away. He was 81.
Acharat who hailed from Thalaserry, had played an active role in promoting cricket in Kerala. It was under Acharath’s captaincy that the state recorded their first win in a Ranji Trophy game. He was a right-arm medium pacer and played for 10 seasons after making his debut against Andhra in 1956-57. After his playing days, he took on various roles as coach, selector and manager of the state team. It was as the coach of the Calicut University team that he groomed many youngsters who went on to play for Kerala. He was the University team coach for 22 years from 1972. His fame as a coach won him the post of chief coach of Indian Universities team. He managed the Kerala team for five terms and even became the manager of the South Zone team. Acharath then became the chairman of Nets and Coaching Centre of the Kerala Cricket Association.
Former Kerala players living in the UAE expressed deep sorrow at the demise of Acharath. Former Kerala all-rounder S. Santosh said: “He was respected as ‘Babu Master.’ He was a superb player and a great coach. I closely interacted with him from my junior cricket days to Ranji Trophy and he believed in all players playing their natural game and to enjoy the game with passion.”
CTK Mashood, another former Kerala cricketer-turned-coach said: “I played for Calicut University for four years and captained the University. He was a tremendous inspiration to me and many cricketers. My brother Usman Kutty was one of his favourite students. His tips helped many gain confidence and it took us all a long way.”