ANDHRA PRADESH

All praise for Visaka stadium

PITCHING IT STRONG: Shivlal Yadav, secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association with Ali Bacher at the cricket stadium on Tuesday. Brijesh Patel is also seen.

PITCHING IT STRONG: Shivlal Yadav, secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association with Ali Bacher at the cricket stadium on Tuesday. Brijesh Patel is also seen.  

It is one of the biggest and beautiful venues I have ever seen: Ali Bacher

V.V. Subrahmanyam

HYDERABAD: The efforts of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) officials to host one of the international matches against South Africans, scheduled to visit later this year, got a shot in the arm with the all-round praise for the venue showered by none other than the former chief of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, Ali Bacher.

"It is one of the biggest and most beautiful venues I have ever seen. I wish it is completed as early as possible," he said after inspecting the Visaka International Stadium here on Tuesday.

With the tribute coming from the former Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 2003 World Cup Cricket Championship in South Africa, the beaming face of Shivlal Yadav, secretary of the HCA, said it all. Dr. Bacher, who is here on a private visit, stressed the importance of having a giant screen at the stadium.

"These things ensure that spectators at the ground don't miss out anything in terms of replays, records, statistics and, more importantly, helps the hosts find suitable sponsors," he explained.

With the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary and former Test star, Brijesh Patel, accompanying Dr. Bacher, it was also reminded that how the same firm had successfully installed a similar facility at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Two options

There are also two options left for the HCA now, according to Shivlal Yadav. Installing the screen at a cost of Rs. 2 crores or erecting a permanent stand costing Rs. 40 lakhs and hire the equipment from the KSCA at a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs when required.

Mr. Brijesh Patel advised Mr. Shivlal to prefer the latter because the HCA was still looking for sponsors to complete the stadium.

For a venue that is modelled on the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, the compliments from Dr. Bacher could not have come at a more appropriate time for Mr. Shivlal Yadav and his team of officials. Mr. Shivlal presented the HCA tie to Dr. Bacher while the latter reciprocated by presenting his picture with Nelson Mandela.

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