He’s a businessman who runs a textile manufacturing facility that employs round 1,000 individuals in Tiruppur and exports to most of Europe, the Oceania area and North America. A former Tamil Nadu athlete within the 110m hurdles at nationwide championships, he additionally holds an MBA and an MS in Psychology.
However then, that’s probably not why V Ramesh Kumar is underneath the highlight within the cricket circuit.
The 44-year-old is the pinnacle curator of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Affiliation (TNCA), the person accountable for the pitch on the iconic M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai — and now, all set to supervise preparations for the upcoming ODI in opposition to Australia and the IPL.
It’s an fascinating journey that’s taken greater than a decade.
Kumar says it began someday round 2010, when he was unable to discover a curator to make a turf pitch at his personal academy, Tiruppur Faculty of Cricket. “So I enrolled for the BCCI course (to turn out to be an authorized curator) in 2016. And right here I’m now,” Kumar instructed The Indian Express.
Kumar first grabbed eyeballs when he ready pitches for India’s two Check matches in opposition to England in Chennai final 12 months. For a curator who had by no means earlier been concerned in making pitches even for First-Class matches, it was a leap of religion by the TNCA. However now, as 2023 approaches, Kumar has a extra busy schedule forward of him — aside from the Australia sport and IPL, the BCCI has lined-up a number of extra turf assignments in view of his skill to roll out balanced and format-suited pitches.
A cricketer until his faculty days, Kumar’s foray into the sport at a severe degree started along with his academy, which is likely one of the hottest such centres in western Tamil Nadu and at the moment has about 90 college students enrolled.
Out of these 90, virtually half of the wards are coached freed from value and the academy takes care of their college and faculty charges, too. 9 gamers, girls and boys, from the academy are a part of the Tamil Nadu aspect throughout age-groups. Kumar has additionally given jobs to the unemployed dad and mom of some of those youngsters.
Whereas these preliminary years had been restricted to his academy, the TNCA first approached him to help in a couple of age-group matches in Tiruppur, says Kumar. With these pitches receiving spectacular suggestions in successive seasons, the state affiliation moved to rope him in as the pinnacle curator on the M A Chidambaram Stadium. However Kumar had a situation: he’ll provide his providers freed from value.
“We have now been making an attempt laborious to persuade him to cost not less than a minimal price. However he’s hell-bent on not taking even a single penny,” says R I Palani, TNCA secretary.
Says Ramesh, “I’m not right here to generate income. Who would cost for following a ardour?”
With the affiliation rolling out new venues in Salem, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Dindigul, and one other developing in Trichy, Kumar will get to spend “little or no time at house”, leaving the duty of working his enterprise to his spouse Malarvizhi Giri, a chartered accountant.
Lately, says Kumar, Malarizhi single-handedly runs the enterprise, whereas he presents assist solely when he’s at house, aside from caring for their three-year-old daughter. “I’ve no alternative however to go away it to my spouse. And it is just due to her encouragement and assist that I’m ready to do that,” he says.
On Tuesday, Kumar’s abilities had been evident on the SNR School Floor in Coimbatore, when Andhra ended up making 277/5 on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy second spherical match in opposition to Tamil Nadu, with the pitch providing good and constant bounce.
“It’s essential have a pitch that has every little thing for everybody. That’s what I learnt from (well-known curators) Ashish Bhowmick (Bengal), Tapas Chatterjee (Rajasthan), Sunil Chauhan (Himachal), Daljit Singh (Punjab), P R Vishwanath (TN) and Prashanth (Karnataka). These guys inspired me rather a lot as a result of I used to be the youngest once I did the course in 2016,” says Kumar.
Over the previous few years, each time Kumar has flown overseas for enterprise, he has made it a degree to go to a couple of grounds there, too. “Once I’m within the UK, I take permission from a couple of counties to be with their groundsmen once they make pitches. Once I went to Australia, I went to Perth to know why there may be quite a lot of bounce there,” he says.
When Coimbatore hosted the Duleep Trophy earlier this 12 months, the pitches he produced obtained the thumbs-up from former India star Ajinkya Rahane, who captained West Zone to the title. However for Kumar, the most important applause got here from the Indian group in 2021 for the pitches he made at Chepauk in opposition to England.
“There was only a three-day hole between two Exams, so there was little time to arrange for the second match. It was underneath the solar when the primary Check was on and in the long run, everybody appreciated it. Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Shastri all signed a hat and despatched it throughout. As a consequence of bio-bubble protocols, I couldn’t meet them. It was great of them.”