The prestigious Andhra Premier League (APL), organised by the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA), commenced earlier this week on 6 July 2022 here in Visakhapatnam. Consisting of six teams, the APL aims at bringing the budding cricketers of Andhra Pradesh under one umbrella, providing a great opportunity to showcase their talent. Apart from the young talent, APL also boasts 12 high-profile players who have represented the state and also been a part of the IPL. One of these 12 Icon Players is Vizag’s local star Ricky Bhui, the second-most expensive player in the league and the captain of the Bezawada Tigers.
In a conversation with Yo! Vizag, Ricky Bhui said the APL is a great move by the ACA to bring young talent under the limelight. “Since the Andhra Premier League is a T20 tournament recognised by the BCCI, it set a stage for the upcoming players to grab the attention of the selectors”, expressed the Vizag boy.
Vizag boy vs Vizag Warriors
In their first APL outing, Bezawada triumphed against the Vizag Warriors. When asked about how it felt to play against his home town, he said “In franchise cricket, it doesn’t matter which team you are playing for because, eventually, it is the betterment of Andhra cricket we wish for.” He also added that the Bezawada team owners have been very supportive of all the players.
“Watch out for me”, says the captain
Speaking about one player that has to be on the lookout from the Bezawada side, Ricky said “Our team is filled with some promising names but in the end, it comes down to that player who can handle the pressure on a big stage.” The skipper expressed his confidence that the Bezawada rooster has a good number of players with such mettle. On a lighter note, Ricky said that the opposition must be prepared for him.
About the team management
“Our management gives the players the freedom and does not pressurise us in any way”, said Ricky when asked about the support from the team owners. He spoke about how Madhukar, one of the owners of Bezawada Tigers, and an ex-Ranji player, understands the requirements of a player and creates a very healthy atmosphere for the side.
Recap of SRH days
Ricky donned the Sunrisers Hyderabad at a very young age and was a part of the SRH camp between 2017-2019. Reminiscing on his stint with the IPL franchise, the right-handed batsmen narrated how Kane Williamson was a great support in the team. “Kane and I had a number of conversations and his words of wisdom were very helpful”, said the grateful Ricky Bhui. He also mentioned that Deepak Hooda is a good friend and was his roommate during his time with SRH. “VVS Laxman and Tom Moody were very supportive of me and helped me develop as a batsman”, he concluded.
New team, old friends
“Though the Bezawada Tigers consists of players from different parts of the state, we all know each other pretty well from the past few years. The practice sessions prior to the start of the tournament also helped us in understanding the new players and their capabilities”, said the optimistic captain.
“Araku at least a couple of times in a year”
Like every other Vizag local, Ricky Bhui is also a huge fan of the Bheemili and Rushikonda beaches. “I love going on long drives to Bheemili with my friends. Also, I make sure that I visit Araku a couple of times for a break from the routine”, said the Vizag boy.
“APL will surely bring Vizag more international matches”, opines Ricky
When asked about the chances of Vizag hosting more international matches in the future, Ricky said that it is already a well-known host. “Until the pandemic happened, BCCI ensured that at least one international match was conducted here. With the entire APL being organised at the stadium in Vizag, BCCI will definitely allot more matches in future”, said Ricky Bhui on a closing note.