Andhra prepared for BCCI domestic season in 2021

Andhra Cricket Association selector Shahabuddin feels the local T20 league in Anantapur amid the COVID-19 pandemic gave a head start to the preparations.

Former Ranji allrounder KS Shahabuddin who is appointed ACA senior selection panel chairman.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The newly-appointed Andhra Cricket Association senior selection panel chairman and former Ranji fast bowler, K. Syed Shahabuddin, said the ACA has made “a head start in terms of preparations” for the next domestic season by conducting the local T20 league amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Except Hanuma Vihari, who is on India duty, all the seniors along with young talent took part in the tournament in Anantapur,” he told Sportstar on Thursday.

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Shahabuddin wants to unearth talent from the grassroots. “My emphasis, along with the other colleagues on the selection panel, will be on grassroots cricket. We have all come from there and I know there is a lot of hidden talent.

“It is a different kind of challenge to don this new role, which I feel is also a huge honour after finishing off my career as leading wicket-taker for Andhra Ranji with 248 wickets besides scoring 2,567 runs in 80 games,” he said.

Andhra is planning to have a camp comprising 40 to 60 players at one of the four centres – Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Anantapur and Kadapa.

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The 41-year-old former Andhra pacer said the atmosphere is great with the new set-up headed by P. Sarath Chandra Reddy. Secretary Durga Prasad and former India star Y. Venugopala Rao as Director of ACA Operations.

“Well, ACA is known for its organisational skills given the kind of infrastructure and sincerity in administration. The fact that we hosted successfully without any issues 33 matches featuring 160 players and staff in a bio-bubble during the recent T20 League in Anantapur shows that we are ready for any major challenges,” he said.

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