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The Rural Development Trust Stadium, or simply Anantapur Cricket Ground, is literally and metaphorically an oasis. Its lushness is a refreshing contrast to the surrounding red, arid earth that covers much of the Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, and the Sports Village in which it sits is one of the few places of plenty in an otherwise impoverished region. Built and maintained by the Rural Development Trust, a non-profit organisation, the stadium comes with all necessary modern facilities, enough for it to play host to some of Andhra's home games in the Ranji Trophy.
Anantapur Cricket Ground's biggest talking point, however, remains the pitches. No slow, low, dustbowls here. The tracks offer plenty of bounce, making this one of the better grounds for pace bowlers in the country. The stadium's honours board showcases that fact quite well, with the quicks completely outnumbering the spinners in terms of five-fors. This does not come down to chance: the square has been constructed with soil from Amalapuram, a town more than 800kms away, chosen specifically because the earth there is high in clay content, thus allowing good carry and aiding pace.
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