VIJAYAWADA: The ACA-KDCA Cricket Ground, which is 25 km from here, will turn into a tourist spot soon, according to irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao.
Speaking at the valedictory of Devineni Venkataramana - Praneeta Memorial Cricket Tournament at Moolapadu on Thursday, Rao said that based on the suggestions of Gokaraju Gangaraju, vice-president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and secretary of Andhra Cricket Association (ACA), the mountain backdrop of the new cricket venue would attract tourists.
“This hill range is ideal for trekking. I would be taking up the matter with chief minister N.Chandrababu Naidu to make this cricket venue a good tourist spot. With two new lovely cricket grounds at the same venue, I would be happy if a Ranji Trophy match is also played here,’’ he said.
Ganga Raju agreed to the suggestion and said that their efforts would be to make it a good cricket venue in the state. “We already have 20 grounds and by 2017 we will have 10 more in the state. I would like all the districts to have good grounds and make AP a cricket-friendly state. I would like cricketers from this state play for the country,” he said.
Ganga Raju also praised MSK Prasad’s efforts. “I had to convince him to quit his job in Hyderabad and help Andhra cricket in 2007. Today, I’m happy that Prasad has grown in stature and has made Andhra one of the best cricket associations in the country. ACA has become a role model for other states as far as financial transparency is concerned. Even in selection, only meritorious players are selected. We have made a total transparency in this aspect too,” he claimed.
The Krishna District Cricket Association (ACA) felicitated Prasad for becoming a national selector. Prasad said he owed his rise to Andhra cricket. “I will always be indebted to Andhra cricket. Ganga Raju sir has a great vision for the game. I’m happy today that Andhra has become the most talked about association in the country. We won all the tournaments in South Zone last year and this year we are already national champions in the under-19 category. Our dream is to win the Ranji Trophy,” he said.
AC honorary treasurer MA Rahim, joint secretary Ch Arun Kumar and others were present.