Talented players, both in cricket and in studies, to be benefited

Andhra Cricket Association director and former India wicketkeeper M.S.K.Prasad’s words would be music to the ears of parents of the 100-odd players harnessing their skills at three residential academies at Vizianagram, Mangalagiri and Kadapa.

“Talented players, both in cricket and in studies, will be helped to pursue their higher education in the University of East London.

Their education will be sponsored by ACA and Telugu Association of London (TAL), and this will help them get part time jobs under ‘earn-while-learn’ system,” said Mr. Prasad, who visited London recently to market the newly-spruced up multi-crore cricket infrastructure.

Three academies

ACA has set up three academies in Andhra region with state-of-the-art playing fields including provision for indoor stadiums by spending crores of rupees. “We need to generate income to maintain these structures.

This sojourn was meant to bring in teams from aboard to make use of these facilities”.

Mr. Prasad interacted with one Akram Malik, a representative of the university and also with the members of TAL during his week-long stay. “This is a golden opportunity for the players as they can get the best of education from this prestigious institution”.

Mr. Prasad’s endeavour to market the stadiums met with a fair amount of success as the county heads of Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex and Surrey showed interest in making use of the stadiums during their off season.

“English county teams prefer to use facilities at Sri Lanka and Dubai during their off and pre-seasons. Now they can make use our facilities which are world-class”.

Prasad also interacted with European wing of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Junior Global Academy at Dubai.

“Former Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar, who heads the Dubai academy, was impressed with our vision and soon we will chalk out a schedule,” he added.

Visual presentation

The former India wicketkeeper made an audio visual presentation and distributed a colourful booklet featuring the facilities and other information such as places of tourist interest, hotels and cuisine.

He said England witnessed torrential rain during cricket’s off-season and the practice schedule often went haywire owing to poor playing conditions.

“The academy will be vacant as our boys will be busy touring and playing for Andhra and India. They can use the services of our coaches, physiotherapists, and trainers as well. We are keen to bring them to coastal Andhra for a reasonable fee. The second and third rung players who wish to make to the main county team can make use of these facilities”.

He also held discussions on exchange tours to give a chance for academy players to play in English conditions against county players.