Odisha News Hour

The ACA invites BCCI Secretary Jay Shah for the Vizag Test; local boy Srikar Bharat is set to be felicitated

<p>A moment of profound pride awaits Srikar Bharat as he graces the field for India in the forthcoming 2nd Test against England at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Friday. Bharat, the native son, whose cricketing odyssey commenced on this very hallowed ground, is poised to become the second cricketer from Andhra to don the whites for India on his home turf.</p>
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<p>In the annals of Andhra cricket, only three players have ascended to the pinnacle of Test cricket for India – MSK Prasad, Hanuma Vihari, and now, Bharat. While historical notes acknowledge CK Nayudu, the inaugural captain of the Indian team, hailing from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, his cricketing exploits were intertwined with the Central Provinces-Berar, leading Holkar to eight Ranji Trophy finals in nine years. It was only towards the twilight of his illustrious career that he represented Andhra.</p>
<p>Returning to the contemporary saga of Bharat, the 30-year-old has traversed a remarkable journey, evolving from a ball boy during the India vs Pakistan ODI in 2005 on this very ground to the brink of gracing the same field as an Indian Test player. In acknowledgment of this milestone, the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) has orchestrated a modest felicitation ceremony for the cricketing luminary.</p>
<p>Gopinath Reddy, the Secretary of ACA, shared insights into the planned ceremony, stating, “Yes, we have planned a felicitation ceremony for Bharat. It will unfold here in the stadium on the Upper Floor of the South Stand. Initially requested for the 2nd of February, the Indian Team management has allocated the 1st for the ceremony, and thus, we shall conduct the felicitation on Thursday.”</p>
<p>Adding to the grace of the occasion, the ACA has extended invitations to distinguished members of the BCCI apex council, including the esteemed BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah. The President of BCCI, Roger Binny, has confirmed his presence on the third day of the Test match, as conveyed by Reddy.</p>
<p>“We have extended invitations to BCCI Secretary Mr. Jay Shah Ji and the President and Vice President during our recent meeting in Hyderabad. We expressed our desire for their presence here in Vizag, and we also aspire to inaugurate an indoor net facility. Though confirmation is pending, our optimism is tethered to the anticipation of his attendance,” Reddy elaborated.</p>
<p>In a gesture of inclusivity, the ACA has announced complimentary tickets for school children and club cricketers. The Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, with its capacity of 29,000, is set to host its third-ever Test, the first since 2019. With successful outings against England in 2016 and South Africa in 2019, Reddy hopes for a resounding turnout similar to the first Test in Hyderabad.</p>
<p>“As it is a Test match, we have structured daily ticket prices ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 400, with season tickets priced at 1500,” Reddy specified. Mirroring the precedent set in Hyderabad, complimentary tickets are earmarked for school children. Reddy remarked, “We have allocated 2000 tickets in the K Stand for college and school students in uniform or with their identity cards. Additionally, we plan to distribute over 2500 tickets each day for cricketers participating in club cricket across our five districts. Presently, approximately 16,000 tickets have been sold online each day.”</p>