VISAKHAPATNAM: Finally, the wait is over for Vizag cricket lovers. After almost one-and-half years, the city is yet again in the grip of cricket fever.
Adding much spice, it’s an enthusiastic T-20 format game and that too, an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, which is a host of massive sixes and plenty of boundaries. The first match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals is all to set to enthral city audiences on April 16, while the other two matches with Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders are scheduled for April 18 and April 22 respectively.
The ACA-VDCA Stadium has been decorated with the banners of the home team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, while the road to the stadium is being decked up with flexis of Sunrisers Hyderabad, welcoming the team. A digital score board has been set apart from giant screen in the stadium, which displays the replay, umpiring decisions and other frames on the ground.
Already, the teams Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals have arrived in the city Tuesday morning and are staying in a private five-star hotel.
Practise sessions will be held between the teams on Wednesday, under police vigilance. Meanwhile, Delhi Daredevils will arrive by Thursday, as their match is on Saturday.
The city police have already arranged for strict vigil across the city to avoid chaos. The ticket sales for the three matches are being sold in many outlets near the stadium as well as online. Sources said that a few tickets for the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals slated for April 16 have been unsold. However, there is a huge demand for the tickets for the match between the home team and Delhi Daredevils, as it falls on weekend (April 18).
“Obviously, IPL is different from international cricket. Here, we could witness the star players from almost all the countries unlike two teams, which we see in normal matches. Moreover, massive sixes, tough chasings and twists and turns in the last over of the match are more interesting,” said Vineel Roshan, a student from GITAM College of Management, with a hint of excitement.
The last match that was held successfully at Visakhapatnam ACA-VDCA Stadium was in November 2013. Though Vizag had an opportunity to host a match on October 2014 between India and West Indies, the BCCI cancelled the match after cyclone Hudhud ravaged the city.
Similar was the fate of IPL, as the city was not allowed to host the cricket matches for the past two years following Samaikyandhra agitations.