ABOUT OUR VDCA

The Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association, popularly known as VDCA, came into being in August 1963, was inaugurated by the then Governor of Andhra Pradesh Gen. S.M. Srinagesh and is now in its 50th year. A few sports lovers with late Sri C. G. Saldana as founder President and late Sri Ayyagari Radhakrishna as the founder Secretary made a solid foundation and growing strength to strength since then.

A year after its birth VDCA hosted the first ever Ranji match in Vizag in December 1964. M. L. Jaisimha led the Hyderabad side against Andhra at the Railway ground. From then onwards the VDCA never looked back and went ahead to organize both National and International matches in the city. The VDCA concentrated in the development of the game at the grass root level by conducting regular coaching camps under experienced players and qualified coaches.

The VDCA received good support from the officials and non-officials of the District, in the conduct of Ranji Trophy matches, organizing league cricket or other inter state tournaments and matches entrusted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Viz. Deodhar Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Vijay Merchant Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, CK Nayudu Trophy and the Wills Trophy tournaments. The success of the VDCA in organising these events was mainly due to the whole hearted support extended by Andhra University, Andhra Medical College, Caltex Oil Refinery India Ltd., SE Railway, Port Gymkhana who were kind enough to provide their playing fields for organizing the main developmental activity, besides the league tournaments for the affiliated clubs.

To recall, the VDCA stepped up its activities especially after resurrection in 1973. The successive Collectors and District Magistrates who by convention headed the VDCA have taken keen interest in the developmental activities and the conduct of several events. Sri K.Jayabharat Reddy, President VDCA paved the way in the right direction, in fact his successor Sri K. M. Ahmed initiated to organize the first state level coaching camp for the Andhra Under-22 players at the Andhra University in July 1976. Later, K. Obayya, Sri C. S. Rao, S. V. Prasad, Sri K. V. Rao, Sri Bhattacharjee, Sri J. P. Murthy, Sri Ajeya Kallam, Sri K. Pradeep Chandra, Sri M. G. Gopal, Sri S. Narasinga Rao, Smt. Veen Ish, Sri Sunil Sharma, Sri, Sri Praveen Prakash, Sri Anil Kumar Singhal who all headed the VDCA evinced keen interest in the activities of the Association and the VDCA hopes that concerted efforts will be made to set up a global Cricket Academy in the near future Vizag.

Famous coaches Hemu Adikari, assisted by the late Sri RVS Rama Rao and Mahendra Kumar contributed to the growth of talent among the boys of the state. It is no ordinary achievement that several local boys have blossomed into good players at the state and national levels thanks to the sustained efforts of the ACA-VDCA combine and mention must be made here of such players as Amit Pathak, Y. Venugopala Rao, Y. Gnaneswara Rao, PAVN Raju and B.Sumanth, D. Siva Kumar, GVS Prasad and Ricky Bhui. Many such players are sure to emerge on the cricketing horizon in the years ahead.

The year 1987 is the turning point in the history of Vizag Cricket. Thanks to the efforts of the then Worshipful Mayor Sri D. V. Subba Rao and Municipal Commissioner Sri K. Raju who took the challenge of converting the barren ground of the Municipal Corporation stadium overnight into an International venue named as Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Corporation Stadium. Mention must be made of Sri N. Venkata Rao who took over the reigns of the Andhra Cricket Association in October 1983 and within a short span of less than four years prevailed over BCCI in getting a three-day game of a team touring India for a Test Series. The match between Board Presidents XI and the visiting West Indies team led by the legendary Sir Vivian Alexander Richards was allotted to Andhra Cricket Association. Conducting this match was mandatory for the venue to get the €status€™ to organize an ODI match. Under trying circumstances with limited time and resources, the stadium was made ready and the match was played on 18th, 19th and 20th Dec. 1987 heralding a new era for Andhra and Vizag Cricket. From then onwards it was no looking back for the ACA and VDCA with dedicated and concerted efforts of all the Members of the VDCA and ACA to promote and develop the game and also conducting National and International matches.

The 10th of December 1988 is a €˜Red Letter€™ day for Vizag and Andhra Cricket. The first One Day International (ODI) was played between India led by Dilip Vengsarkar and New Zealand led by John Wright at the Indira Priyadarshini Municipal stadium. The Mayor Sri D. V. Subba Rao, the ACA President Sri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the VDCA President Sri J. P. Murthy, the MCV Commissioner, Sri S. P. Singh, the then Superintendent of Police Sri A.K. Mohanty were collectively responsible for the success of this major event and placing €˜Vizag€™ on the map of €˜World Cricket€™.

The overwhelming success of this One Dayer prompted Sri J.P.Murhty to actively consider the proposal of VDCA to a allot a suitable site for the construction of an exclusive cricket stadium. Sri J. P. Murthy finally allotted a 10.32 acres site (abandoned tank at Pothinamallayyapalem, later filled and leveled by the then Hindustan Polymers) was handed over to Sri S. P. Singh the Municpal Commissioner and Chairman, VDCA Stadium Committee. Sri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju laid the foundation stone on 17th May 1989 for the construction of the VDCA Sliver Jubilee stadium. Initially funds were raised by conducting a lottery thanks to the government of Andhra Pradesh for sanctioning approval to conduct a lottery.

With the limited funds available with the VDCA, the Association could commence construction of the pavilion, level the playing field, lay underground drainage system, and grassing the entire playing field, construction of International standard Pitch . Having spend a sizeable amount on the project thus far, the BCCI appreciated the efforts of the VDCA in acquiring land for the construction of a stadium.

Since then much water has passed under the bridge and it was Sri N. Venkata Rao who used his good offices and obtained funds from the BCCI. The BCCI offered to share the project by releasing 50% of the money spent by the VDCA at every stage. However, as the BCCI can only fund the ACA in the construction of the stadium, the suggestion to add ACA to the VDCA stadium was considered, accepted by VDCA and the matching funds were released by the BCCI for this mega project. Mention must be made of Dr. Jagmohan Dalmiya the former ICC and BCCI Chief €˜without whose support the stadium could have remained as a dream€™

The ACA-VDCA stadium can boast of 5000 spectator capacity in the pavilion block with air conditioned commentator boxes, corporate boxes apart from a A/c €˜Media Centre€™ and a fully air-conditioned €˜Press Box€™ with all facilities required for a international matches. The stadium can boast of good score board, and all the facilities required by the agency covering the event live, viz the control room etc., Large dressing rooms for the teams Gymnasium faculties adjoining the dressing room are provided. The umpires rooms, the Match Referee room and other relevant facilities are well placed.

The role and contribution of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) in the development of the game of Cricket should be recorded in golden letters. The VSP'€™s support right from 1987 is laudable. The successive Chairmen cum Managing Directors of the VSP were always ready to come forward to help the VDCA in its efforts to organise National and International matches.

FLOOD LIGHTING : The ACA came forward to provide flood lighting and M/s Philips completed the project in record time in April 2009. The first ODI under lights was played on 20th October 2010 and continued thereafter.