IPL 2018: I, J, K stands at Chepauk to remain empty, again

There are several hurdles facing the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) before the three stands are thrown open to the aficionados.

It is a shame that the I, J, and K stands, with a capacity of 12,000, will be empty.   -  : B. Jothi Ramalingam

It’s an ugly sight on an otherwise grand theatre. The 'I, J, and K' stands of the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium will remain closed during the forthcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The cricket fans of the city and the state are the losers.

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Given the excitement here on the return of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after two years – even the CSK practice sessions have attracted crowds in excess of 8000 – it is a shame that the above-mentioned stands, with a capacity of 12,000, will be empty. Meanwhile, the tickets for the other enclosures have disappeared in a hurry.

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There are several hurdles facing the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) before the three stands are thrown open to the aficionados.

Firstly, as many as 12 meters of the gym at the Madras Cricket Club (MCC) will have to be demolished to create eight meters of setback space between the MCC and the ‘K’ stand as ordered by the court.

Secondly, parts of the MCC have been declared heritage structures by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) making it hard to pull down any portion of the club.

Then there is the issue of the land lease at Chepauk. Time is running out for the TNCA and the MCC - both felt the sum demanded by the State revenue department as dues was "exorbitant," - who had approached the High Court last year; the parties concerned have until the end of June to reach a settlement. And talks are on.

Ahead of the India-Australia ODI at Chepauk last September, there was a strong move to make the three stands available as a "temporary" goodwill gesture but the State government backed down at the last moment owing to legal complications.

In the meantime, the fans continue to wait.