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Cricket academies will improve bench strength, says Srinivasan in Visakhapatnam

"The ACA-VDCA stadium in the city will be accorded the Test status, and it is only a matter of time," said Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) N. Srinivasan while participating in the valedictory of the two-day diamond jubilee celebrations of the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA).

The stadium has already been inspected by a team of BCCI officials, comprising Ranjit Biswal, G.R. Viswanath, and M.V Sridhar, and a report will be sent to ICC.

"It is just the processing time. In the present context, all modern stadia are fully equipped and what is necessary is just a few fine tunings," said Mr. Srinivasan.

Appreciating the ACA's effort in building infrastructure and cricket academies, the ICC Chairman noted, "ACA has ambitious plans and it is good to be ambitious. Such an attitude will benefit the game of cricket, and I am sure it will enhance the bench strength of the Indian cricket team."

Talking about Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Mr. Srinivasan said the board was cash rich, and would divert funds for the development of the game.

"Good infrastructure will provide good cricketers," he said.

Earlier, Sports Minister K. Atchen Naidu, in his address, said Visakhapatnam would be made the sports hub of the State. He also informed the gathering, comprising former cricketers and administrators of the game, that Andhra Pradesh would be bidding for the National Games and, if allotted, it will be used as the launch pad to build infrastructure across the 13 districts.

Minister for HRD Ganta Srinivasa Rao, in his address, said a sports complex on the lines of Gachibowli sports complex in Hyderabad was being planned for Visakhapatnam.

The government was also designing a sports policy, he said, and asked the cricket association to chip in to develop other sports also.

The ACA celebration was well attended by a number of former and present Ranji Trophy cricketers, including the legendary Gopanna, who played the first Ranji Trophy match in 1953.

Mr. Srinivasan, on behalf of the ACA, handed over a cheque for Rs. 2.10 crore to former cricketers on the occasion.

BCCI interim Chairman Shivlal Yadav, Secretary Sanjay Patil, ACA president D.V. Subba Rao, secretary Gokaraju Gangaraju, and former Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble were present.

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