IND vs ENG: TNCA ready for return of Test cricket to Chepauk

TNCA secretary R.S. Ramasaamy said the England team undergo four days of quarantine in its team hotel before beginning its practice sessions at Chepauk.

100

The second India - England Test would be played at Chepauk from Feb. 13-17.   -  B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) was fully prepared to host the first two Tests against England, said its secretary R.S. Ramasaamy to Sportstar on Thursday.

Ramasaamy said he had learnt tentatively that the England team would arrive in Chennai on January 27. 

“Then they would undergo four days of quarantine in their team hotel before beginning their practice sessions at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium,” he said.

ALSO READ| South Africa has faith in COVID-19 protocols despite 'negative' England

The TNCA secretary added the England team was not keen on a tour game before the first Test got underway on February 5 since the side would be landing in Chennai after playing in similar conditions in Sri Lanka.

The second India - England Test would be played at Chepauk from Feb. 13-17. “We are all excited about back-to-back Tests in Chennai. Both the England and the India teams would be staying in the same hotel,” he said. 

Ramasaamy was hopeful spectators would be allowed to watch the Tests. “The third and fourth Tests would be played at Motera where the newly built stadium has a capacity of 1.25 lakh spectators. I am sure, they would not want their inaugural Test in such a huge stadium before empty stands.”

ALSO READ| SA-SL two-match Test series to go ahead as planned

The TNCA secretary observed, “I feel, around 50 per cent of the stadium could be allowed for the spectators where we could keep adequate gap for social distancing between the spectators. If not that, at least 25 percent of the stadium could be made available to the fans.”

Ramasaamy did not foresee any problems in journalists being allowed to cover the Tests. “The press enclosure in Chepauk is a big one and we could keep enough space between the scribes.”

However, he saw problems for photographers in shooting pictures from near the arena since that would put them too close to the players.

The photographers could be given permission to take pictures from the stadium, instead.