Free Press Journal

Cricket’s Lost Talents! Tinu Yohannan: Remember the first player from Kerala to represent India?


Indian cricket has seen a lot of fast bowlers who had a brilliant start in the national squad but could not keep their form which resulted in their vanishing from the team. One such bowler was Tinu Yohannan, a right-handed fast bowler who had an impeccable start in the international career but was dropped later due to his slump form. He is one of the few bowlers who took a wicket in the very first over of his international debut match. He was also the first player from Kerala Ranji team who played for India in Tests and ODIs.

Tinu was born on February 18, 1979, and was son of former Indian athlete Thadathuvila Chandapillai Yohannan (T.C. Yohannan), who represented India in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Canada. T.C. Yohannan also held the national record in long jump for nearly 3 decades. Following his father’s footsteps, Tinu also tried to make a career in sports and played for Kerala Ranji team.

Making his international debut with the Test series against England on December 3, 2001, Tinu became the first player to be selected in the national squad from Kerala Ranji team.  He gained the spotlight when he took his first Test wicket on the fourth ball of his very first over. He dismissed both the England openers in that match.

In ODIs, he played his first match on May 29, 2002, against West Indies.  After having an amazing start to his international career, he could not keep up the pace and was dropped from the national team due to bad form. He could play only three Tests for India and equal number of ODIs. In both Tests and ODIs, he was able to take five wickets respectively.

After getting dropped from the national squad, he kept on playing for Kerala Ranji team. He also made an appearance in IPL, when he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009. At present, he is the bowling coach of Kerala Ranji team. Although Tinu could not achieve much in international career, he is a big legend for Kerala cricket. Being the first player for national team from Kerala Ranji team, he is an inspiration for aspiring youth cricketers of Kerala.