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Mayor arrives late, finds fault with cricket

Staff Reporter

Coaching camp for physically challenged cricketers inaugurated

VIJAYAWADA: It was an embarrassing day for the 30-odd physically challenged cricketers, who gathered at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium for the inauguration of the coaching camp. Keeping the tradition of maintaining the protocol, administrators of Andhra Cricket Association for Disabled requested the city Mayor Tadi Sakuntala to be the chief guest and wanted her to reach the venue by 8.30 a.m.

Armed with garlands, the brave-heart cricketers waited for the Mayor from 8.30 a.m. But there was no sign of the Mayor arriving at the venue. The restless cricketers kept their composure and started calling her mobile, which was `switched off'.

Other dignitaries -- Urban Development Authority chief Malladi Vishnu, CPI corporator P. Gowtham Reddy, corporators Anne Prassana, Afreen Sultana and Ratna Bindu, who arrived punctually, waited patiently for nearly two hours for the arrival of the Mayor.

The politicians, keeping in view the discomfort faced by the players, went ahead with the inauguration programme, after a series of bids to trace the Mayor over the cell phones.

Finally, the smiling Mayor arrived around 10.30 a.m. and began her speech belittling cricket as a lazy man's game. She also found fault with the game for suppressing many other rural sports and games, much to the discomfiture of the fellow dignitaries and players assembled in the stadium.

However, she appreciated the prevalent team spirit in the game and the words offered some solace to the cricketers. By wielding the bat against a delivery bowled by UDA chief Malladi Vishnu, Tadi Sakuntala inaugurated the coaching camp.

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