Cricket is a profession now and children should be given more time to practice the game, former Test player M.S.K. Prasad who is now director (operations) of Andhra Cricket Association, said here on Monday.

As many as 500 players having been selected for the camps and the good gathering of the players, most of them accompanied by their parents for the inaugural ceremony of The Hindu-sponsored summer coaching camps of the Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association at the ACA-VDCA stadium, prompted Mr. Prasad to urge the parents to allow their children to practice the game throughout the year and not to stop them after the summer camps. “You should give them an opportunity. This game is going to stay and talented players have not been wasted”, he said adding that even a Ranji player could earn Rs.12 lakhs during a season.

President of VDCA and former ACA president D.V. Subba Rao said the players would be trained by experienced coaches and they should gain from the camps. The one-month camps would also inculcate team spirit in them, he said. VDCA's experiment to open camps in the rural areas was a success, he said. Mr. Subba Rao thanked the parents for their support.

The VDCA president recalled the contribution made by The Hindu to the sports. S.K. Gurunathan, Jack Fingleton and many other famous writers contributed articles and match reports to The Hindu, which were of great quality.

Mr. Subba Rao and others hoped many of those attending the camps would don the Indian colours in future.

VDCA secretary K. Parthasaradhi informed that one rural camp, at Vaddadi was added this year.

As many as 2000 players turned up for selection trials held for the camps being held in five zones in the city and rural areas and 500 were selected. At Vaddadi, the new venue, the response was excellent as 250 turned up for the camps and 40 were selected. Thirty five coaches would run the camps.

Vice-president of VDCA P.R. Narayanaswami said VDCA and The Hindu were running the camps successfully for the last many years. He wanted the players to learn the game in copybook style and wanted parents to cooperate with the coaches.

Chief of Bureau of The Hindu B. Prabhakkar Sharma said there was a lot of future for players as they could play in a tournament like IPL if not for the country and coaching was also a lucrative profession now. He noted that VDCA conducting the camps in a perfect manner.

Regional General Manager T.V. Suresh said The Hindu was sponsoring camps only in Visakhapatnam and assured that the sponsorship would continue.

He advised the players to make use of the camps and also not to neglect studies.

Also present on the occasion were former Andhra Ranji captain M.N. Ravikumar, VDCA vice-president D.S. Varma, joint secretaries JKM Raju and AP Naidu and treasurer D. Prasada Rao.

Keywords: SportsProfessionCricket