Kochi: Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa is all set to play for the Kerala Ranji team from the next season.
The 33-year-old batsman has reached an agreement in this regard with the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA).
Once the Karnataka native gets a non-objection certificate (NOC) from Saurashtra for whom he played in the last season, he can join the Kerala team. However, a decision on his remuneration is yet to be made.
Uthappa will replace opener and Tamil Nadu native Arun Karthik, who had been part of the Kerala team in the previous seasons.
All-rounder Jalaj Saxena who had played a crucial role in the past three seasons would continue to be part of the Kerala team. The KCA has renewed the contract with Saxena who is from Madhya Pradesh and his annual renumeration has been raised to Rs 26 lakh. He earned Rs 55 lakh in the previous three seasons.
Dav Whatmore will continue to be the team coach. Kerala had scripted history by reaching the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy in the last season.
Uttappa is the son of former hockey umpire and Coorg native Venu Uthappa and Keralite Roselyn.
The KCA had approached him about two years ago as well.
Uttappa has played in 46 One-Day Internationals and 13 T20s for the Indian team. He has scored 9,118 runs, which includes 21 centuries and 51 half-centuries, in 136 first-class games. He is the one of the key players of Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL).