Thiruvananthapuram: Sanju Samson, who Tuesday became the fourth cricketer from Kerala to be named in the national squad, said he was "extremely happy and thankful" to all those who stood by him.
Samson has been named as a wicket-keeper batsman in the 17-member Indian squad that will play five ODIs and a T20 match against England, when the present five-Test series is over.
"I am extremely happy and am thankful to all who stood by me," the young cricketer told the media after hearing about his selection.
The other players from Kerala who have represented the country in the past are Tinu Yohanan, Abey Kuruvilla and now disgraced S. Sreesanth.
Of the three, Kuruvilla played for Mumbai, while all the others once represented the Kerala state cricket team.
Samson hails from a coastal hamlet near the international airport. His father Samson Viswanath, who worked as a constable in Delhi Police, took voluntary retirement and returned to the state capital city a few years back to promote the cricketing interests of his two sons, of whom Sanju is the younger.
The news was met with delight by many people.
T.C. Mathew, president of the Kerala Cricket Association, said he was longing to hear this news for a while.
"I am really delighted that he has made it to the senior team. Even though he is just 19 years and short, he carries himself in a very mature manner. He is a highly disciplined person and above all, his humility is his biggest virtue," Mathew said.
Samson made his debut in the Kerala senior team in 2011. For the past two seasons, he has been a key player for the Rajasthan Royals team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), rubbing shoulders with cricketers like Shane Warne and Shane Watson.