Two days after YSRC’s ‘Samaikya Sankharavam’, the venue presents a pathetic sight with patches of mud and trash strewn over

If Sachin Tendulkar were to have even a cursory look at the Lal Bahadur Stadium now, he would be for sure left wondering whether it was the same venue where he had scored that cracking 186 against New Zealand in a one-day international in 1999 a day before Deepavali.

For, two days after the YSR Congress Party’s ‘Samaikhya Sankharavam’, the stadium, which hosted many of the famous sporting battles, presented a pathetic sight what with long, wet patches of mud and trash strewn all over.

APNGOs’ meet

“It always happens after a public meeting. It took us two days to clean up after the APNGOs’ meeting last month. With heavy rains in the last few days, making the ground ready for sports is going to be Herculean task,” sighs a senior official of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP), not wishing to be quoted.

“I don’t think we can repair this ground anytime soon. The entire playfield has to be carpeted with red soil again,” says Ramulu, one of the senior ground staff.

There are many wondering why sports complexes should be allowed to host public meetings. “It disturbs the training schedule of athletes as this stadium is located in the heart of the city,” bemoans K. Ranga Rao, secretary of A.P. Athletics Association.

But, SAAP has a different take having got Rs. 3.75 lakh for letting out the stadium for the public meeting. “What is wrong in giving out this venue to raise funds as SAAP is struggling with its meagre budget?” argues a Deputy Director of SAAP, reminding that the venue had not been hosting any major sporting events for long.

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