In India, cricket is not just a sport. A few call it a religion, a few call it an emotion and a few others call it a way of life. Call it anything, but it will forever hold a special place for every Indian. With every passing year, the never-ending interest and excitement for cricket has been drawing more Indians and young brigades to become professional cricketers. In this endeavour, only a few make it. Amongst these are a few Vizagites who have brought laurels to the city. Here are 7 cricketers from Vizag who have played for the Andhra cricket team.
#1 Venugopal Rao
Yalaka Venugopal Rao is a right-handed middle-order batsman from Vizag. He started his career playing for Andhra Pradesh in domestic cricket and went on to play One Day International (ODI) cricket for India. Venugopal Rao was the first Indian ‘super sub’ in the ODI. He also opened the batting for India in a one day series in Zimbabwe. On the IPL front, Venugopal Rao was part of the Deccan Chargers successful campaign in 2009. He subsequently played for Delhi in 2011, and Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014.
#2 KS Bharat
Kona Srikar Bharat is a 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman from Vizag. He made his T20 debut for the Andhra team in the year 2013 against Tamil Nadu. He rose to fame when he became the first wicket-keeper batsman to score a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy, while representing Andhra Pradesh in 2015. He made rapid strides both as a keeper and as a batsman at the domestic level when he scored 758 runs with a healthy average of 54.14 in 2015. He played for India Blue in the 2018-19 Duleep Trophy. Bharat has scored 9 centuries in his first-class career so far and 3 list-A hundreds. This Vizag cricketer was eventually roped in by the IPL team, Delhi Daredevils. He currently plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and is one of the cricketers from Vizag in the limelight. During the recent match, Bharat played the match-winning innings of 78 runs off 52 balls in their last league game.
#3 K V Sasikanth
K V Sasikanth is a right arm medium pacer from Vizag. A passionate cricketer since his childhood, he made his first-class debut on 22 October, 2015. Sasikanth was part of the 2015-2016 Ranji Trophy Andhra team. Subsequently, he made his List A debut on 10 December, 2015 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. A noted bowler that he was, he was the leading wicket-taker for Andhra in the 2018-2019 Ranji Trophy, with 17 dismissals in four matches.
#4 Sneha Deepthi
Vootala Sneha Deepthi is a women’s cricketer from Vizag. Although she was not very interested in sports in her childhood, she started playing gully cricket with her father, who was an employee at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Sneha started her cricket career playing inter-district matches. She became the first cricketer from the Andhra Women’s cricket team to score a double century. She hit 203 runs (not out) against East Godavari. Sneha was rewarded for her talent and later played in the Indian cricket team in 2012-2013. At the age of 16, this made her the youngest player to represent Indian Women’s T20 International Cricket till that feat was bettered by Shafali Verma.
#5 Bodapati Sumanth
Bodapati Apparao Sumanth is a 33-year-old middle-order batsman from Vizag. He made his debut in 2006. A splendid batsman that he was, he was picked for playing in the India Under-19 team. Sumanth was also associated with the Deccan Chargers and played a pivotal role in their IPL campaigns. On the batting front, he currently has a strike rate of 122.66 in the T20s and 73 in List A cricket. Sumanth currently continues to play inter-district matches in Andhra Pradesh.
#6 Muramalla Sriram
Muramalla Uday Bhaskar Sriram is a 29-year-old batsman from Vizag. He made his first-class debut playing for Andhra in 2009. Over the years, he has played over 24 first-class cricket matches, 5 List A matches and 2 T20 matches. Sriram also has 3 hundreds in first-class cricket and a strike rate of 88.57 in the T20 format.
#7 Amit Pathak
Amit Surinder Pathak is a right-handed batsman from Vizag. He made his first-class debut in 1990-1991. He is one of the first cricketers from Vizag to have played for the Andhra cricket team. Amit played for Andhra in the Ranji Trophy and later represented the national India Under-19 cricket team. With this, he became the first Andhra player to have played for the U-19 India team. Amit captained the Andhra team and went on to play 76 first-class and 56 List A cricket matches. His highest score was 264 against Goa in 2000. Post his playing career, Amit also served as the assistant coach for the Andhra team for the season 2015-2016.