The I, J and K stands at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium will, on Saturday, be open for the first time since the 2012 ODI between India and Pakistan.

This will also bring to an end a long saga that saw the three stands being out of bounds for the spectators season after season.

It was only after the Madras Cricket Club (MCC), during an extraordinary general meeting in January 2020, decided to demolish its gym to create eight metres of setback space between the MCC gym and the ‘K’ stand, as ruled by the court, that the decks were cleared for the reopening of the stands in question.

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Then the MCC approached the Corporation and CMDA for approval to carry out the demolition. The permission was given.

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), on its part, agreed to bear the cost of the demolition and the construction of a new MCC gym. TNCA and the MCC had to face several hurdles along the way. The MCC had to prove that although some portions of it were heritage structures, the gym was not.

Then the lease for both the TNCA and the MCC ran out and had to be renewed. This took time.

The three stands, when full, can accommodate 12,000 spectators.