No more Andhra Bank caps in sport

Andhra Bank cricket team which toured Sri Lanka in 1974.

Andhra Bank cricket team which toured Sri Lanka in 1974.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A major sponsor in local sporting events

It’s curtains for Andhra Bank as an entity in sports as it is going to be merged with Union Bank of India from April 1. The bank had achieved a formidable reputation in the sports field and had built a strong affinity with the people of the Telugu-speaking States since its inception.

It will be a different experience, especially for the cricketers who have been representing Andhra Bank, which first played in the HCA League in 1971-72 season as an Institution Team.

The Bank boasted of some 50 first-class cricketers and four internationals — M.V. Narasimha Rao, S.L. Venkatapathi Raju, V.V.S. Laxman, Hanuma Vihari — apart from kabaddi internationals like K. Jagdishwar Yadav, Srinivas Reddy (well-known coach in Pro Kabaddi League) and Sudhakar Goud.

Interestingly, when the chief executive handling Andhra Bank team in the HCA sent the membership renewal fee he was politely told to wait by the latter to get some clarity. Now, a senior HCA official confirmed to The Hindu that they would continue to recognise Andhra Bank till all the formalities of name change and other related issued are addressed. Luckily the domestic season is starting only by June.

A. Nandakishore, former cricketer and now qualified BCCI umpire says there is a tinge of sadness that this entity is lost. “But again, we are part of a system which has to keep going in the interests of the public,” he says.

Jyothi Prasad, who was in the India camp along with Sunil Gavaskar and others in 1978, recalls that the only time Andhra Bank played in the All India Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup was in 1977 when it was led by India off-spinner S. Venkatraghavan and included Anshuman Gaekwad, Surinder Amarnath, Duleep Mendis besides the local players like himself, Vijaya Paul and V. Ramnarayan.

“Our Bank, led by Vijaya Paul, also has the distinction of completing four Grand Slams between 1974-79 winning all the four titles at stake — Behram-ud-Dowlah, Maharaja Kishen Pershad, Goraksekhar and Ghulam Ali,” recalls Jyothi Prasad, who recalls that the Bank gave everything to them and was like a mother to all the players.

By all means, it will be a different and touching experience when the former and Andhra Bank sportspersons move around under a new banner!

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:02:09 AM |

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