Special Correspondent

Shifting of IPL matches shocks cricket lovers

VISAKHAPATNAM: The city is hosting woman one-day international cricket matches for the first time. England and India are playing two matches at the ACA-VDCA stadium here on Wednesday and Friday.

For no fault of its, the city missed hosting two (men) ODIs, one against Sri Lanka when the agitation for a unified State was on and again one of the matches during the ongoing series against South Africa.

But the rude shock to the sports lovers was shifting two of the Deccan Chargers' matches in the IPL to Cuttack when the situation here is absolutely normal.

“We have one of the best stadiums, equipped with all modern facilities and meeting all requirements. People from abroad who visited the stadium, were thrilled to see such a beautiful stadium has come up here. But now there is not even minimum utilisation,” lamented VDCA president and former ACA president D.V. Subba Rao at a press conference held on the eve of the match.

The ACA and VDCA are hopeful that the young women and school girls come to stadium to see the matches and get inspired by the players of the two teams.

England incidentally is the World T20 champion and is getting ready to defend its title in West Indies during March.

The woman ODIs are sort of a consolation even as a greatly upset cricket fan asks why the BCCI did not see a bad law and order situation now and shift the matches to some other place?

In spite of the disappointment over the ODIs against Sri Lanka and South Africa and the IPL fixtures, the woman ODIs are important for both the teams and should generate interest in the people.

An experienced player from Hyderabad Dian David has been included in the team as India effected two changes to replace its injured players.

The two teams have arrived here on Monday after sharing the two matches at Bangalore. They will have nets on Tuesday and Thursday.

ACA and VDCA vice-president Vishnu Kumar Raju, VDCA secretary K. Parthasaradhi, treasurer D. Prasada Rao and joint secretaries G.J.J. Raju and J.K.M. Raju and other office-bearers are busy making preparations for the matches, which are almost completed.