Sports in Kerala
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Several ancient ritualised arts are Keralite in origin. These include kalaripayattu—kalari ("place", "threshing floor", or "battlefield") and payattu ("exercise" or "practice"). Among the world's oldest martial arts, oral tradition attributes kalaripayattu's emergence to Parasurama. Other ritual arts include theyyam and poorakkali.
However, larger numbers of Keralites follow sports such as cricket, kabaddi, soccer, and badminton. Dozens of large stadiums, including Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Thiruvananthapuram's Chandrashekaran Nair Stadium, Kariavattom Outdoor StadiumTrivandrum(Under Construction) Calicut Coperation stadium,Calicut mini stadium attest to the mass appeal of such sports among Keralites.
Football is one of the popular sports in the state. Districts like Malappuram, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Trivandrum have produced many Indian International footballers such as I. M. Vijayan, V. P. Sathyan and C. V. Pappachan. A Seven-a-side version of football is hugely popular in Kozhikode. These "Seven's football" tournaments attract many fans and international players for the sheer joy and excitement of fast paced football.
Most of the professional football clubs in India have many Kerala footballers including Indian internationals N P Pradeep, K Ajayan,Mohammed Rafi and Sushant Mathew.
Kerala has a rich history of producing world class athletes. Athletes like T. C. Yohannan, Suresh Babu, P.T.Usha, Shiny Wilson, K. M. Beenamol, Anju Bobby George, K. M. Greeshma are amongst the best Kerala has produced.
Volleyball, another popular sport, is often played on makeshift courts on sandy beaches along the coast. Jimmy George, born in Peravoor, Kannur, was arguably the most successful volleyball player ever to represent India. At his prime he was regarded as among the world's ten best players.
Cricket, the most followed sport in South Asia, only became popular in Kerala state in recent decades. Earlier cricket was continually played only in select places like Thalassery, Fort Kochi, Ernakulam and Tripunithura. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (right-arm fast-medium, played 26 tests and 53 ODIs for India) is often regarded as the most successful cricketer from Kerala. Other cricketers from Kerala include Tinu Yohannan, son of Olympic long jumper T. C. Yohannan and K. N. Ananthapadmanabhan (344 first class wickets). Kochi Tuskers Kerala, a short lived former Indian Premier League team, represented Cochin, Kerala. Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium (Kaloor International Stadium) is an international stadium in Kochi. The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 spectators making it the third largest stadium in India after the Eden Gardens and Salt Lake Stadium, both in Kolkata.
- Kalaripayattu - one of the oldest martial arts, Government of Kerala website
- FootballKerala.com Kerala Football News
- Loongs Cricket Academy