Chennai games not to be televised

Despite the closure of the stands, the MA Chidambaram stadium’s capacity of accommodating approximately 28,000 spectators has saved them the agony of being stripped off as a venue for the tournament.

The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, in Chennai.   -  B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Chennai may have been continued as a venue for the next year’s World Twenty20 but none of the four matches to be played at Chepauk will be televised due to the problem of empty stands.

On the sidelines of a function to formally launch the tournament and announce the fixtures here, a BCCI official confirmed to The Hindu that the International Cricket Council wasn’t keen on continuing with Chennai as a venue once it was clear that three stands would remain locked during the tournament.

However, a compromise was reached once it was proposed that the broadcaster would be informed not to televise any games in Chennai. Besides, it was also assured that Chennai will not host an India game.

The official explained since “three stands have been closed” it makes for a terrible television viewing experience. Despite the closure of the stands, the M. A. Chidambaram stadium’s capacity of accommodating approximately 28,000 spectators has saved them the agony of being stripped off as a venue for the tournament.

Chennai has been allotted four matches for the marquee event, to be played in India from March 8 to April 3 next year. Chennai's fate as a venue for the marquee event was under a cloud since three stands at the M. A. Chidambaram stadium have been locked out due to a dispute with governmental authorities. As a result, Chennai's scheduled India match has been moved to Bangalore.

India, meanwhile, will play Pakistan in Dharamsala, the hometown of BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, on March 19. Nagpur and Dharamsala will host the eight-team men's qualifier from March 8 to 13 while Nagpur will host the main tournament opener, between India and New Zealand.

Despite Mumbai Cricket Association requesting the BCCI to not allow a semi-final in Mumbai considering the problems with hosting Pakistan in the city, the Wankhede stadium will host a semi-final double header.

While Delhi will host the other semi-final, the big final will be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.