VIJAYAWADA: The city is all set to have an international cricket stadium. It will come up in the land belonging to Southern Power Distribution Company (APSPDCL) and AP Transco, next to Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences.
Though the proposal is at an incipient stage, the policy planners’ thinking in this direction has come as a whiff of fresh breeze for cricket-lovers of the city who want to have a world-class stadium so that it could host international matches.
The idea is to pool lands belonging to SPDCL and other vacant lands near Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences for the construction of international cricket stadium. At present, the stadium is only in the form of an idea, since the land that has been identified would first be developed into a Pushkar Nagar, for the benefit of pilgrims visiting Vijayawada during ‘Krishna Pushakarams’ in August.
Though Vijayawada is close to Amravati, it does not have sports infrastructure worth its name. The Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium (IGMC), which hosted an international cricket match in 2002, failed to attract tournaments subsequently and the stadium later became a venue for all activities other than sports.
The 25,000-seater stadium has become unfit for cricket. Now, training in athletics is provided inside the stadium and no one bothers about the pitch in the middle of the ground. It is very hard to find the pitch now.
However, Visakhapatnam has Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium, owned by Andhra Cricket Association (ACA). Meanwhile, the construction of the international stadium at Mangalagiri is moving at fast pace and will be completed in a few months. Spread in 24 acres, the stadium is equipped with club house, indoor cricket practice nets and its capacity stood at 40,000. Once, it becomes operational, the ACA is ready to conduct ODI and test cricket tournaments in the stadium, according to the ACA officials.
“Vijayawada city is definitely on par with Hyderabad and can easily host international matches. It has the best weather, solid infrastructure, great connectivity, brilliant administrators and plenty of talent. The only requirement is a 15-acre square piece of land. I think the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) must start working on it. Vijayawada must start producing cricketers as Hyderabad does. Right now, it is only a handful. The count from here must be more,” said K Veerandranath, cricket coach at a private academy in the city.
“We have enough facilities for outdoor games and there are many stadiums coming up in rural pockets of the district. However, there is a need for an international cricket stadium in the city on the lines of Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad,” said District Sports Development Officer (DSDO) P Ramakrishna.
IGMC unfit for cricket
The 25,000-seater Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium failed to attract tournaments after 2002
Now, training in athletics is provided inside the stadium