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Mulapadu Cricket Stadium


sonykongara

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Mulapadu Cricket ground is all set to host the first international cricket match. According to sources of ACA, the ODI and T-20 matches would be played between India and West Indies in the month of November.

63 years old history, ACA did not host series of matches. Mulapadu is the second venue to host an international series in Krishna District. For the first time, Vijayawada hosted a one-day where India took on West Indies in 2002 at Indira Gandhi Stadium.

According to the sources, ACA has named the playfields after late Devineni Praneetha & Venkataramana and Chukkapalli Pitchaiah.

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Mulapadu Cricket ground is all set to host the first international cricket match. According to sources of ACA, the ODI and T-20 matches would be played between India and West Indies in the month of November.

63 years old history, ACA did not host series of matches. Mulapadu is the second venue to host an international series in Krishna District. For the first time, Vijayawada hosted a one-day where India took on West Indies in 2002 at Indira Gandhi Stadium.

According to the sources, ACA has named the playfields after late Devineni Praneetha & Venkataramana and Chukkapalli Pitchaiah.

Mulapadu cricket grounds are for practice and host might be local ranji matches... not international cricket.  Play fields vella names entabba...

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Urban Legend

aa photo lo vunna vallandari loki CBN e fit ga vunnadu(except the blue jacket guy, MSK prasad???). Go CBN !!! AP needs you for another 10+ years

 

yes indian chief selector  MSK prasad

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is introduced to the Indian Women's team [Picture Credit: ACA]

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is introduced to the Indian Women's team [Picture Credit: ACA]

There is nothing in the city of Vijayawada, or in the 30-kilometre stretch that leads to the Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju ACA Cricket Ground in Mulapadu, that suggests that the state has been awarded its first full international bilateral series. When the photos of the West Indies women's team landing at Vijayawada's airport were published in papers, not many knew where they were going to be playing. The multi-purpose Indira Gandhi stadium, which hosted the men's game between India and West Indies back in 2002, is now owned by the state government and rarely used for cricketing activities. But any doubts of a getting a decent gathering for the series opener were dispelled early on Thursday (November 10).

Morning newspapers that carried the news of the inauguration of the twin play-fields at the Mulapadu ground, for which the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had flown in personally a day ago, perhaps served a timely reminder. Ten tents that were erected on the eve of the game to house the media and audience were filled to capacity even before the first ball of the three-match ODI series opener was bowled. And as the word spread, that the Indian cricket team is playing a game just a short distance away, more crowd started trickling in. Few more tents were hastily assembled to accommodate those joining in late but the swelling numbers disarrayed the usual arrangement.

Let's face it, the newly-built ground doesn't have an audience gallery just yet. Heck, there isn't one for the match scorers either. The facility lies practically in the middle of nowhere - a 45-minute drive from the famous Kanaka Durga temple, nestled in the hills, overseeing the Krishna river that flows parallel to it. The approach road to the stadium, off National Highway 65, is another kilometre long. The ground itself is amidst cotton fields, with multiple tiny villages of the Krishna district around its circumference and a combined population of less than half of that of Vijayawada's. Understandably, the turnout the organisers received was 'beyond the wildest of their expectations'.

"We never expected (so many people). (We) thought unnecessarily we put up so many tents. But now we are feeling bad that some people were standing," said the chairman of selectors for the men's team MSK Prasad, who hails from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. "For the next game, you will see so many (more) tents coming up. We've spoken to district education officer and sent letters and spoken to women's colleges. They will be coming in batches," he added.

Now, 500-odd isn't a huge number for an audience in a cricket game in any corner of India, but true as that stands, it is the best crowd in terms of pure headcount that a women's bilateral game has seen in India. When there were no seats left unoccupied, the crowd didn't mind settling on the undressed land. In fact, the audience area was choked till the side of the sight screen, which borders the extreme end of the ground. Veda Krishnamurthy's match-winning six that soared over the long-on ropes had a few ducking to avoid a mishap.

For some, who had come leaving 'work' behind, it was a revelation of sorts finding out that it was the Women's team and not the one they are otherwise familiar with. Nonetheless, it was the familiarity with the game that kept them glued to their seats.

Veda Krishnamurthy played cheerleader to a vociferous crowd with her acrobatic fielding in the deep.

Veda Krishnamurthy played cheerleader to a vociferous crowd with her acrobatic fielding in the deep.

Krishnamurthy had become an instant crowd-favourite even before she took guard. Fielding in the deep for most part of the game, just ahead of seating area, the 24-year old led an already-enthusiastic crowd in cheering every ball. One can never be sure if even half of those present there knew what her full name was. Veda, scribbled on the back of her jersey, and the number 79 became the chant code. And she didn't disappoint either, putting in full-length dives that only spurred the crowd on. If at all the excitement ever faded, Krishnamurthy, in a very Kohliesque manner, would egg them on with a trademark 'can't-hear-you' gesture. When the crowd responded, she'd want them to push the volume up.

A lot of them sure didn't know what the Indian captain's name was. The other bunch of the sample audience was too proud of the fact that it was indeed the local girl Mithali Raj, who hails from Hyderabad, leading the side. Her dives, drives and ploys almost always fired up the audience. The chorus of 'captain, captain' gained momentum every single time Raj crossed over to this side of the field, or when her bat touched the ball.

Cameras worked overtime when Harmanpreet Kaur, sporting a different jersey number this time around, took under-arm throws from the fielding coach Suman Sharma at the side nets during the innings break. Many had forgiven lunch to catch the glimpse of the Australia-bound vice-captain. And a handful, who had done their homework well, waited patiently to catch the T20 captain in their selfie frame as she walked off ten minutes later.

The contrast of emotions between the locals and the visiting side couldn't have been more stark when a vigorous leg before appeal against Mona Meshram, off Tremayne Smartt, was turned down. The crowd's own version of a Mexican wave started, as if, almost on cue.

But if one would have expected a rather partisan crowd, they were in for a surprise. The loud roar when the West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor put in an acrobatic dive in covers, just at the 30-yard circle, led many to believe that Smriti Mandhana had hit the first boundary of India's chase, momentarily throwing the manual scorer into a tizzy. But Krishnamurthy's big-hitting in the closing minutes ensured that the deep-rooted loyalties were back on display, to an extent that made the visitors uncomfortable.

The authorities didn't have the time to pride themselves on the fact that all aside, at least the opening day of their recent venture had been a blockbuster. More security had to be called in, too, to ensure the situation didn't get out of control.

In the words of many others among the organisers, the interest is likely to go down as the series progresses but India's win in the opening game coupled with the fact that two of the remaining five are on a Sunday, gives them hope.

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