CHENNAI: In welcome news for cricketers in the city, top players will be permitted to use the nets at MA Chidambaram Stadium for practice next week for the first time since the shutdown.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), which had sent a letter to the Chennai Corporation on July 31 requesting for permission to reopen the stadium for training, got the green signal on Saturday. A TNCA official informed this newspaper that they will officially be receiving the letter in a day or two. The association is looking at reopening the facility from Wednesday.
As reported by this newspaper, international players, probables for the upcoming Ranji Trophy and other state cricketers will be given access to use the nets in the initial period. The standard operating procedures issued by BCCI and the state government will be followed. Players who want to train will turn up in small groups.
"We received permission from the corporation to open only the Chidambaram Stadium at the moment. We are more worried about the Ranji Trophy probables, who are not in shape since they have not trained for months. So, we will inform the players that practice can be resumed from next week. It's then up to them to use the nets," said an official.
If the ongoing lockdown, which will end on August 31, is lifted next month, TNCA wants to complete the remaining fixtures (semifinals and final) of the first division league in September. "I don't see the lockdown being extended further in September. Probably, we can complete league matches next month if the lockdown is lifted," added the official.