December 30, 1975, Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
The Indian selectors have quite often been notorious in curbing the careers of budding pace bowlers with their policy of hiring and firing. The list is long and one of them was Thirunavakarasu Kumaran.`Kenny' as he is known to close friends, was selected for the national side largely on the basis of one performance - a ten-wicket haul in the Irani Trophy match against Karnataka at Bangalore at the break of the 1999-2000 season. He was the surprise choice for the tour of Australia and to give him some international experience prior to the tour, he was played in the one day internationals against New Zealand. Kumaran did well enough to show that he merited selection and on the tour of Australia, he performed beyond expectations in the first-class games prior to the first Test. It was taken for granted that he would be in the side but Agarkar was preferred. He took this disappointment in his stride but another one followed when he was one of five players to be replaced for the Carlton & United one-day series.
A product of the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, Kumaran received personal training from Dennis Lillee and has also benefited from a stint at the Australian Academy in Adelaide. He was mentally strong, but never really recovered from the setback and within a year he had disappeared from the game. He joined the rebel Indian Cricket League during its inception in 2007 and was one of the stand-out performers for the Chennai Superstars. He took an astonishing 6 for 21 on debut - a league record - and also has the best strike (12.69) in the 20-over tournament. However, he accepted the BCCI's amnesty offer and quit the league in 2009, along with a host of other Indian players.
Partab Ramchand and Cricinfo Staff June 2009
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