Stand in Vizag cricket stadium named after Andhra Cricketer Y Venugopala Rao

Visakhapatnam: As India faces West Indies on December 18, one of the gates at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA cricket stadium in Visakhapatnam would be named after Y Venugopal Rao. The latter is a former Indian cricketer from the city and a product of the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA).

Secretary of ACA V Durga Prasad said that Y Venugopal Rao gate would be inaugurated on December 18 in the presence of budding cricketers and fans of Andhra Pradesh. He said that the ACA decided to do so in recognition of Venugopal’s service to cricket from Vizag and Andhra Pradesh.

Venugopal Rao was the former captain of Andhra Ranji team and represented the Indian national team. He played 16 ODIs and 65 IPL matches in his career, and Venugopal announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in July 2019. He had been appointed as the Director (Cricket Operations) of ACA.

Notably, a couple of months ago YSRCP Vizag West MLA Malla Vijay Prasad demanded that a gate or stand be named after cricketer Y Venugopala Rao. The legislator’s demand will be finally fulfilled on Wednesday.

So far, only three cricketers from ACA — MSK Prasad, Y Venugopala Rao and Hanuma Vihari — have represented team India. The ACA had named a gate in Vizag stadium after MSK Prasad long back. It has been decided that some more stands in Vizag stadium will be named after personalities and administrators who had served ACA.

37-year-old Venugopala Rao amassed only 218 runs with a lone fifty in the 11 innings he played for India after making his debut against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on July 30, 2005. He played his last ODI against West Indies at Basseterre on May 23, 2006. Rao played 121 first-class matches scoring 7,081 runs with 17 hundreds and 30 fifties to his credit.

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