Andhra Cricket Association president Gokaraju Ganga Raju on Friday said that the association was keen on resolving the differences that cropped up with the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation during the hosting of the India-West Indies One Day International at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium in 2002.
Briefing mediapersons about the preparations for the Ranji Trophy cricket match between Andhra and Madhya Pradesh from November 17 to 20 in the presence of VMC Commissioner P.S. Pradyumna, Mr. Ganga Raju said that the ACA was willing to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the VMC for the maintenance of IGMC Stadium and to keep it ready for international matches in the next two years.
“We brought Vijayawada on to the map of world cricket by hosting India-West Indies match. After 2002, we could not host any match and we are depending more on Visakhapatnam. It will take two years for the completion of the Mangalagiri stadium. Before that, the ACA wants to stage an international match at IGMC Stadium,” he said.
Mr. Ganga Raju felt that the VMC could support other games with the money collected from the ACA.
Mr. Pradyumna asked the ACA chief to use his good offices to bring the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to the city for the benefit of cricket lovers.
“I will give all support for the preparation of the stadium as per the ICC norms. Now the onus is on the ACA chief (to bring the match),” he said. Mr. Ganga Raju promised to make efforts to bring an international women’s match involving India and England.
Mr. Pradymna said the VMC had already spent around Rs. 30 lakhs for the renovation of the dressing rooms and umpires rooms. He said that the VMC and the horticulture staff had taken three months to spruce up the lush-green outfield.
The Andhra – MP Ranji match will be the 24th match to be hosted by the Krishna District Cricket Association. As many as 21 matches were held at IGMC Stadium, while one each was held at PWD Grounds (now Swaraj Maidan), Andhra Loyola College grounds and in Machilipatnam. Admission for the four-day match is free.