Staff Reporter

MANGALAGIRI: For students of Narayana Residential School, Nellore, and St. Joseph’s English Medium School, Vizianagaram, Tuesday will remain a memorable day.

They entered the history book of the Andhra Cricket Association as the first teams to play on the newly laid wicket of the upcoming ACA Stadium at Amaravathi Township near Mangalagiri. Narayana School emerged winner by defeating the team from Vizianagaram by 19 runs. As many as 13 schools from the districts under the purview of the ACA are taking part in the seven-day ACA inter-schools tournament and the matches are being played both at Mangalagiri and in JKC College grounds at Guntur.

“In future, when you enter the stadium to witness an international match, you will fondly remember this day and you can proudly tell the world that you played the first-ever official match at this stadium,” said ACA president Gokaraju Ganga Raju, addressing the teams. Inaugurating the tournament, chief guest Ajay Kumar, Income Tax Commissioner, Vijayawada, exhorted the players to play to win and also correct their mistakes and prosper in life.

“Mistakes are bound to happen both in sports and life. Those who learn from the mistakes will prosper,” he said.

‘Hone skills’

Mr. Ajay Kumar asked the players to play with sportsmen spirit and hone their skills so that at least some of them could don the coveted Indian cap. “There is a bright future in cricket. Pursue the game with passion,” he advised. Mr. Ganga Raju said that the first two teams of the tournament would qualify for the south zone inter-schools tournament to be held at Bangalore.

“ACA is offering many benefits to the players and it is the responsibility of the players to master the game and bring laurels to the association.”

Mr. Ganga Raju disclosed that the association had acquired three more acres adjacent to the stadium for the purpose of constructing a club house.

“Once ready in 2011, this stadium will possess many facilities to stake its claim to host international matches,” he said confidently.

Stadium in-charge K. Chandrasekhara Rao, stadium committee member Ch. Arun Kumar, Krishna District Cricket Association joint secretary A. Yella Rao, ACA officials A. Subba Rao, Phani and others took part in the function.