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This BCCI pitch specialist can also be a manufacturing facility proprietor, MBA, ex-athlete

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HE IS a businessman who runs a textile manufacturing facility that employs round 1,000 folks 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.

But then, that’s probably not why V Ramesh Kumar is beneath the highlight within the cricket circuit.

The 44-year-old is the pinnacle curator of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), the person in control of the pitch on the iconic M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai — and now, all set to supervise preparations for the upcoming ODI towards Australia and the IPL.

It’s an attention-grabbing 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 School of Cricket. “So I enrolled for the BCCI course (to become a certified curator) in 2016. And here I’m now,” Kumar informed The Indian Express.

Kumar first grabbed eyeballs when he ready pitches for India’s two Test matches towards 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. But now, as 2023 approaches, Kumar has a extra busy schedule forward of him — aside from the Australia recreation and IPL, the BCCI has lined-up a number of extra turf assignments in view of his capacity to roll out balanced and format-suited pitches.

A cricketer until his school days, Kumar’s foray into the sport at a critical stage started along with his academy, which is without doubt one of the hottest such centres in western Tamil Nadu and at present has about 90 college students enrolled.

Out of these 90, nearly half of the wards are coached freed from value and the academy takes care of their faculty and school charges, too. Nine 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 mother and father of some of those youngsters.

While 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. But Kumar had a situation: he’ll provide his providers freed from value.

“We have been trying hard to convince him to charge at least a minimal fee. But he is hell-bent on not taking even a single penny,” says R I Palani, TNCA secretary.

Says Ramesh, “I’m not here to make money. Who would charge for following a passion?”

With the affiliation rolling out new venues in Salem, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Dindigul, and one other arising in Trichy, Kumar will get to spend “very little time at home”, leaving the duty of operating his enterprise to his spouse Malarvizhi Giri, a chartered accountant.

These days, says Kumar, Malarizhi single-handedly runs the enterprise, whereas he provides assist solely when he’s at house, aside from caring for their three-year-old daughter. “I’ve no choice but to leave it to my wife. And it is only because of her encouragement and support that I’m able to do this,” he says.

On Tuesday, Kumar’s abilities had been evident on the SNR College Ground in Coimbatore, when Andhra ended up making 277/5 on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy second spherical match towards Tamil Nadu, with the pitch providing good and constant bounce.

“You need to have a pitch that has everything for everyone. That is 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 encouraged me a lot because I was the youngest when 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. “When I’m in the UK, I take permission from a few counties to be with their groundsmen when they make pitches. When I went to Australia, I went to Perth to know why there is a lot of bounce there,” he says.

When Coimbatore hosted the Duleep Trophy earlier this 12 months, the pitches he produced acquired the thumbs-up from former India star Ajinkya Rahane, who captained West Zone to the title. But for Kumar, the most important applause got here from the Indian workforce in 2021 for the pitches he made at Chepauk towards England.

“There was just a three-day gap between two Tests, so there was little time to prepare for the second match. It was under the sun when the first Test was on and in the end, everyone liked it. Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Shastri all signed a hat and sent it across. Due to bio-bubble protocols, I couldn’t meet them. It was wonderful of them.”