Andhra Pradesh July 12, 2008

Visakhapatnam pitch to be relaid

Cricinfo staff

The Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) has hired Australian curator Ricky Aitken to relay the pitch at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Aitken and his team will stay in the city for a month to relay all the turf wickets as per ICC specifications, V Chamundeswaranath, the association secretary.

Aitken, who prepared wickets for the Deccan Chargers home games during the IPL, is the grounds manager with the Hong Kong and Kowloon Cricket Club, and he also re-laid the Lord's pitch. Work has been going on in Visakhapatnam since last month and Aitken is arriving to supervise the laying of the final layer of soil on the pitch.

Chamundeswaranath said he was also planning to appoint a former Australian Test player to run the association's cricket academy in Visakhapatnam for a period of three years. Andhra are looking for a new coach for next season and the secretary said four former players - Syed Abid Ali, Bobjee Narasimha Rao, Rajinder Singh Hans and Bhaskar Pillai - had been shorlisted for the post.

"Before the Ranji season begins, we will be hosting a tournament of four-day matches involving Sri Lankan 'A' team. Andhra, Karnataka and Hyderabad are the other teams. The matches will be held in different grounds in the districts under ACA jurisdiction. The Andhra-Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy match will be held at Vijayawada," Chamundeswaranath told the Hindu. "ACA is also keen to introduce inter-schools tournament with prize money of Rs 25,000 this season."