TNCA gets govt order renewing lease for M.A. Chidambaram Stadium

The focus now shifts to the unlocking of the I, J and K stands before the first ODI between India and the West Indies scheduled for December 15.

TNCA secretary R.S. Ramaswamy (in picture) with the government order renewing the lease for the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

R.S. Ramaswamy, the TNCA secretary, walked into his office sporting a broad smile. After all, he had the Government Order (GO) renewing the lease for the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium - for 21 years - in his hands. 

“We now have it. It’s because of team-work,” said the erudite and affable Ramaswamy.

Soon former TNCA secretary K.S. Viswanathan walked in to congratulate Ramaswamy. “All credit to Ramaswamy and his team. They worked tirelessly to get this done. It’s a huge relief for all of us.”

Ramaswamy thanked his team and made a special mention of sitting MLA from Omalur in Salem district, S. Vetrivel, who has played at the under-17 level for Tamil Nadu and then represented the Madras University. He has also been a state under-19 selector.

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“Vetrivel convinced the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Eddapadi K. Palaniswami, how important renewing the lease of the M.A. Chidambaram was,” Ramaswamy said. 

When Rupa Gurunath took over as the new TNCA president, she said her first priorities were to get the lease for the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium renewed and then have the I, J and K stands reopened. 

Now the focus shifts to the unlocking of the three stands ahead of the India-West Indies ODI on December 15.

And the Madras Cricket Club (MCC) will have its role to play. The MCC, which has also got its lease renewed, will first have to pay arrears of nearly Rs. 11 crore to the state government. 

Then, the MCC will need to approach the corporation for permission for the demolition of its gym to create the needed setback space between the MCC and the ‘K’ stand. 

Once that is given, the TNCA will approach the High Court for the reopening of the three stands. 

The quietly efficient Ramaswamy said, “Once we get the go ahead from the court, we can get the job done. We need around four days for demolition and three days for cleaning the stands.”

He added with guarded optimism, “If the demolition is complete by December 10, we can get the three stands ready for the public before December 15.”

A full house at Chepauk will be a wonderful sight.

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