Baseball catching up in Kerala

May 10th, 2009 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 10 (IANS) Baseball, the national sport of the US, is slowly but steadily finding a place in the sports curriculum of many educational institutions in Kerala.
Baseball, known as a ‘distant cousin’ of cricket in this part of the world, got a huge boost here when the state hosted the Sixth South Zone senior baseball championships which conclude here Sunday.

“This is the first time we are hosting this event, that saw the participation of four teams. We are certain that by hosting such events we will be able to popularise the sport among the people,” said M.N. Krishnamurthy, president of the Kerala Baseball Association and South Zone Baseball Association.

In fact, it is Krishnamurthy, a senior Inspector General of Police, who is credited with popularising baseball across the state, with 11 of the 14 districts having a baseball association within five years.

“Our efforts yielded results when the state government recently decided to give grace marks to those players who play at the school, university and state level. Baseball has a bright future here and what we now need the most are sponsorships to support the game and the players,” said Krishnamurthy.

Already a few grounds owned by educational institutions and even the state government have offered the facility to support the game.

However, there is a general feeling that baseball might not get a wholehearted support from the state’s left-party government.

“With the Left party in governance here, we are aware of their antipathy to USA. But we are proud that we could organise this major championship for the first time here,” remarked a keen baseball supporter at the stadium.

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