Andhra Cricket Association officials have been using the BCCI funds only to cement their position in the state and not to really develop the game in all the districts. Indiscriminate use of funds is turning out to be a hall-mark of this regime.
Sources said the officials have been giving funds to the district associations and clubs without asking for a proper utilisation certificate. "Each district gets Rs 15 lakh and a club gets Rs 2 lakh. The ACA doesn't bother to find out what happens with the money. The clubs (barring Metro CC in Visakhapatnam and United CC in Vijayawada) have no cricket activities but they still get the money. This is a way of bribing them for their support.
"Districts which are heavy into cricket activities get the same amount as those who don't do much. It's all lopsided," ACA sources told ToI.Speaking about the development of grounds, sources said it was done out of necessity. "There is so much money in the association that something had to be done with it. So they came up with this scheme. The resulting civil works are given to their followers and friends. Ironically, local players have no access to these grounds. These facilities seem to be only for their men."
"So much of infrastructure but where are the players?" question the critics. "We still get players and coaches from outside to prop things up. Where are the locally groomed players?
Another glaring omission is that the ACA has not done anything to build a league system in the districts. "Visakhapatnam had good league cricket but over the years it has come down. The ACA should have coordinated with schools/colleges and others to build league cricket in all the districts. That would have done wonders for the game as it would have created greater opportunities for the players to develop their game," the player said.
A former player said that nothing is being done for a player graduating from the junior ranks. "We have had many talented youngsters at the junior level but all of them disappear later on. Most of them move to other cities for better opportunities. The ACA has failed to create sufficient openings for them post the U-19 level. At this stage, the player looks for some security but there are no job opportunities for them and hence they give up the game
"Instead of building such infrastructure, the ACA should have worked with corporate houses and companies to ensure that the boys get some placements and thereby can continue to play. The academies are good but they don't serve much purpose if the players don't play for their respective districts.
Women's cricket too is virtually non-existent in the districts. Apart from the academy, there is nothing happening for the women players.
The ACA headquarters was shifted from Guntur to Vijayawada during N Venkat Rao's tenure. Sources said the office is now housed in a rented place. "In all states, the association office is located in the stadium but unfortunately it's not the case with the ACA. It is shameful that so much is being spent in developing grounds etc but we don't have a proper office. The stadium is in Visakhapatnam and the city also has a vibrant cricket culture and hence the HQ should be in that city," sources said.
Courtesy: The Times of India