District Cricket Association office-bearer passes away
Honorary treasurer of Andhra Cricket Association and organising secretary of the Vizianagaram District Cricket Association P. Appala Raju, who passed away at a corporate hospital here on Tuesday morning, two days before his 80 birthday, was associated with the game of cricket as a player and later as an administrator for several decades and was active till very recently.
A veritable example of perseverance and stickler for discipline, Appala Raju had been popular among ACA members as Mastaru and true to the title, he was the master of cricket administration and no project undertaken by the ACA was complete without his able guidance.
He was always ready to chip in with any kind of help to those who seek his advice, the ACA described him in a message.
He was behind Vizianagaram, fort town, hosting several Ranji matches and all-India inter-university matches whether it was at the relatively new Vizzy stadium, the decades old M.R. College ground, the Police ground or the nearby Sainik School ground at Korukonda and in organising the ODIs in Visakhapatnam in the recent past.
The most recent example of his efficiency was repayment of ticket price to all the spectators who had bought tickets for the India-New Zealand Twenty20 match at the ACA-VDCA stadium during October 2012 which was abandoned due to rain.
Appala Raju did his graduation from M.R. College, Vizianagaram and M.Sc. (statistics) from Banaras Hindu University. A tall opening bat and medium pacer, he had the distinction of playing for Andhra University, BHU and Patna University and later he worked as Physical Director of M.R. College for a long time and acted as manager of AU cricket team for two decades. Vice-president of Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association and former Physical Director of AU P.R. Narayanaswami said Appala Raju had guided him a lot as a Physical Director. Apart from conducting many major tournaments in Vizianagaram, Appala Raju ensured that all the play fields of MR College were kept in good shape and equipment provided to students. Appala Raju’s death was an irreparable loss to ACA and a void difficult to be filled, said Mr. Narayanaswami.
A large number of office-bearers of the ACA, including its general secretary G. Ganga Raju, and that of some district associations were present at the cremation of Appala Raju at Jonnavalasa, his native village near Vizianagaram on Tuesday afternoon.
ACA president D.V. Subba Rao, Mr. Ganga Raju, vice-president D.V.S.S. Somayajulu, zonal secretaries N. Prabhakara Rao and Koka Ramesh, director (cricket operations) M.S.K. Prasad, office-bearers of different district associations G.V. Ramachandra Raju, P.S.S.R. Gajapathi Raju, J.V. Bhaskara Rao, A. Yella Rao, P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, K. Parthasaradhi, Gajapathi Raju, B. Bapuji, administrative manager of ACA-VDCA stadium B.J.J. Raju, along with former Andhra Ranji captain M.V. Ravikumar, former Ranji player G.V. Sanyasi Raju, PD of M.R. College M. Vasudeva Raju, and several others condoled the death of Appala Raju.
Former Minister and ACA president P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju mourned Appala Raju.