Visakhapatnam

History created as Vizag hosts first Test

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu watching from the gallery the first-ever Test match between India and England at ACA-VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.—Photo: K.R. DeepakK_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK -  

The first-ever cricket Test on Andhra soil got off to a splendid start with Indian captain Virat Kohli and Chateswar Pujara slamming centuries and the few thousand spectators, with schoolchildren making up a large part of them, leaving the ACA-VDCA stadium here on a highly satisfactory note.

Kohli, incidentally has many good scores behind him at this venue in the ODIs he played here so far and it is his first century here. He is going strong on 151 and all set to equal Gavaskar’s record of scoring a double in the 50th individual Test of a player. Jayant Yadav made his Test debut here and one hopes he comes out with a memorable show in Andhra’s debut Test. Kohli’s innings today reminded one of the blitz M.S. Dhoni launched against Pakistan in 2003 in a ODI, which is the first match at the stadium.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was present as the Test unfolded. He unveiled a pylon on the stadium premises to mark the first Test and wished to see many Andhra players representing India in Tests. After the match commenced, Mr. Naidu spent nearly 40 minutes at the stadium watching the game and later said he was very much happy to see the Test happening here “I am very happy to see the children enjoying the game and I spent 45 minutes at the stadium and shared their joy,” he told reporters later.

He said the city would become a sports hub too and major sports events like National Games would be held in the State in 2018. The Chief Minister also listed the State government’s plans for sports development like developing playgrounds and stadia all over the State.

Mementoes presented

The Chief Minister presented mementoes to members of English and Indian teams and to former stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman, Ravi Shastry, Sanjay Manjrekar, L. Sivaramakrishnan, Anil Kumble, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton and Chairman of BCCI senior selection committee M.S.K. Prasad, who represented India in Tests from AP. Vice-president of BCCI and general secretary of Andhra Cricket Association and MP G. Gangaraju, president of ACA DVSS Somayajulu, president of VDCA and MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, and Sports Minister K. Atchannaidu were present. Noticing noted writer and film actor Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott in the stands Mr Naidu spoke to them for a brief time. As the historic moment arrived, people remembered former ACA president late DV Subba Rao who was always longing for a Test to be played here and the then Collector J.P. Murthy who allotted the site for the stadium.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 1:51:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/History-created-as-Vizag-hosts-first-Test/article16667416.ece

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