Stadium for all seasons

Come rain or shine, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai seems to be capable of hosting matches regardless of the weather.

Players of Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC in action during heavy rain the Indian Super Leage (ISL) Match at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.   -  PTI

Come rain or shine, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai seems to be capable of hosting matches regardless of the weather. Case in point: the ISL match between Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC on November 11.

Chennai has been plagued by abnormally heavy showers this monsoon and there were some doubts on the feasibility of the match. However, with the weather clearing up a bit, the match went on as scheduled. However, not for long, as clouds opened in the fifth minute and there was relentless rain for the next 20 minutes. Amazingly enough, the players braved the conditions and the match continued.

For this, the drainage infrastructure at the ground should be credited. Despite the continuous rain there were no puddles on the pitch. Only a bout of lightning and thunder got in the way as the game was temporarily suspended during the 26th minute.

This was a far cry from the World Cup qualifier between South American giants Argentina and Brazil. The match at the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium in Buenos Aries, scheduled for November 12, was postponed by a day as torrential rain in the Argentine capital made the pitch conditions unplayable.

Chennaiyin FC, prior to the season, invested in a new drainage system that eliminates the possibilities of puddles in case of rains. “A new pitch and sub-surface drainage system were installed just before the season started. It was not a mere upgrade but a completely new pitch with an excellent drainage system. The results have been extremely good as we saw in the last home game,” Chennaiyin FC said in an e-mail statement to Sportstar.