Visakhapatnam: Though the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) is a role model for other associations in terms of creating infrastructure and making optimum use of funds, so far only five of its cricketers, three of them women, have played for India.
ACA has produced two international male players — MSK Prasad of Guntur and Y. Venugopala Rao of Visakhapatnam, who played for Team India. It has been a little more successful with its women members. Recently, Sabbineni Meghana was selected for the Indian women’s cricket team that played the T-20 world champions West Indies in three T-20 matches at Mulapadu stadium in Vijayawada recently. Earlier, V. Sneha Deepthi and R. Kalpana donned Indian colours.
The ACA has been criticised for not producing a quality fast bowler or spinner in all these years. Venugopala Rao played only 16 ODIs between 2005 and 2006.
“We have started four residential academies in Andhra Pradesh to boost the talent of budding cricketers in the state. It is too early to expect great results. We are hoping that 20-year-old Ricky Bhui (right handed batsman) and Kona Srikar Bharat, promising batsman and wicketkeeper, who have been performing excellently in domestic cricket will get a chance to wear the blue cap and make the country proud,” says ACA president D.V.S.S. Somayajulu.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur has praised the efforts of the ACA in creating sound infrastructure for budding players. “We have full-fledged academies and are determined to take the game to the next level in the coming years. Producing an international-level cricketer is not an easy task. We are confident that not only girls but also boys from ACA will be knocking on the doors of Team India dressing rooms soon,” says ACA secretary Gokaraju Gangaraju....