New super soppers, indoor training facilities: Chepauk gets rains covered for 2023 ODI World Cup
With Chennai receiving surplus rainfall from South East monsoon, TNCA have taken precautionary steps to prepare for showers during the marquee event.
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) missed out on the chance to host one of the 2023 ICC Men's ODI World Cup semifinals in November because of the North East monsoon. Among the nine venues that host five games, the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is one of the two to host all their matches in October, trying to ensure that they do not have shortened clashes.
However, they have been forced to look skywards because of surplus rainfall during the southeast monsoon, which began its withdrawal from Rajasthan a few days ago. On Monday, the city recorded a new high in terms of rain during the South East monsoon season (over 88cm, already 40cm above normal).
Taking all this into account, the TNCA have prepared on all fronts to ensure smooth conduct of play come October 8 when India will take on Australia in their opening game of the tournament. Two new super soppers, amenities to cover the entire field of play if need be, indoor training facilities — they have tried to cover it all. Even if it pours down continuously for hours, they expect the play to resume in 90 minutes maximum after the showers stop. "Because it is October and we are expecting heavy rains, we are well prepared. We already have two super soppers and now, we have bought a couple more. We have four super soppers which is generally not the case in any venue. We also have the amenities to cover the entire field of play if there is heavy rain. The drainage system is well equipped as well," a TNCA official told this daily.
While India, Australia and South Africa play just one game at the venue, Pakistan, Afghanistan and New Zealand have two matches with each team staying in the city for at least a week. The Pakistan-Afghanistan (Oct 23) and Pakistan-South Africa (Oct 27) games, especially, will be played after October 20 when the North East monsoon is expected to arrive. The indoor training facilities above the players' dressing room will come in handy to ensure their training isn't affected between matches. "We have an indoor facility where four players can practice at a time with four bowling machines and floodlights that provide a similar lux as that of the ones in the ground," said the official.