Hopes brighten for opening of Chepauk stands ahead of IPL

Work to demolish the gymnasium at the Madras Cricket Club has begun; the sealed 'I', 'J', and 'K' stands at the M. A. Chidambaram stadium could be reopened before the IPL.

A view of the sealed I, J and K stands at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai. - B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Work to demolish the gymnasium at the Madras Cricket Club (MCC) has begun, and it will pave the way for the sealed ‘I’, ‘J’ and ‘K’ stands at the M. A. Chidambaram stadium here to be reopened ahead of the upcoming IPL.

The three stands were sealed after the 2011 World Cup owing to various issues, depriving the city the opportunity to host matches at various events, including the World T20 in 2016 and the IPL final in 2019. An exception was made when the stands were opened for an ODI between India and Pakistan in 2012.

The work is expected to be completed in four-five days, MCC president R. Ramesh told PTI on Saturday.

New gymnasium

After the demolition, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) will seek permission from the Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for clearance for the three stands, Ramesh said.

He also said the club will build a new gymnasium, and that arrangements for an alternate gym for members had already been made.

A decision to demolish the gym was taken during a general body meeting of MCC recently.

TNCA sources said once the gym was demolished, the Corporation and CMDA will be approached for the reopening of the stands. The three stands (I, J and K) will be opened for the forthcoming IPL, according to the sources.

Earlier, TNCA got custody of the iconic M. A. Chidambaram stadium as it entered into a new lease agreement with the Tamil Nadu government.

The three stands were closed as the city Corporation said there was “insufficient” space between the stands and the MCC.

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