47-year-old Kerala cricketer M Suresh Kumar, popularly known as ‘Umbri’, died by suicide on October 9 (Friday). Suresh Kumar, a spinner during his playing days, was the first cricketer from Kerala to represent India when he broke into the U19 squad in the 1990 season against New Zealand.
During that time, India U19 side was led by a young Rahul Dravid. The Kiwi side also had several prominent names like Stephen Fleming and Dion Nash. Kumar was a native of Alappuzha, a district in the central part of Kerala. According to police reports, Suresh Kumar’s body was found hanging in his house in Alappuzha and further investigation over the incident is currently underway.
Talking about his playing career, Suresh Kumar had played a vital role in Kerala’s first big Ranji Trophy victory over Tamil Nadu in the 1994-95 season. He had grabbed 12 wickets while conceding 164 runs. Following his impressive show with the ball, he also took a hat-trick against Rajasthan in the 1995-96 season of the Ranji Trophy, as reported by MyKhel.
Suresh Kumar’s domestic career ended in 2005 when he decided to bid adieu to the sport after a Ranji Trophy game against Jharkhand in Palakkad. After his retirement, he started working with Indian Railways. In a career spanning over 72 First-class games, Suresh Kumar scalped 196 wickets. And, in 51 List A matches, he registered 52 scalps to his name.
A couple of months ago, Karan Tiwari, a local-level cricket player who bowled in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy nets, had also committed suicide by hanging himself in his house in Goregaon East, Mumbai. 27-year-old Tiwari was suspected of suffering from depression due to his career which was hampered by an unexpected Covid-19 hiatus.
According to police reports, Karan had called one of his closest friends in Mumbai to tell him about the current scenario of his career. He wasn’t getting a proper chance to show up his talent, leading to clouds of depression hovering over him.
After Karan went to his room and locked the door at night around 10:30, he was found dead by the time the door was broken. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the cricketing scenario across the country, many players have been contemplating their future due to financial crises and unforeseen time.