CHENNAI: The M.A Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk is set to have a swanky new pavilion when Chennai Super Kings kick start their Indian Premier League title defence in April 2022. The renovated stadium is expected to host the opener of the 15th edition on April 2.
The Madras Cricket Club has received permission from the Greater Chennai Corporation for demolition of its clubhouse and the work will commence by early next week. The MCC on Wednesday sent out a circular to its members saying it is preparing to hand over the clubhouse for demolition and some of the facilities will not be operational from Thursday.
Old concrete roof with gigantic pillars will make way for a brand new stand as the iconic MCC will be rebuilt. Tamil Nadu Cricket Association will also renovate the Anna Pavilion block with a state-of-the-art dressing room and corporate boxes.
TNCA which has already moved its office is waiting for permission from the local body authority to begin the construction work. “We have already applied for the approval and are awaiting the nod. We are hoping to get the stadium, at least, partially ready before the new IPL season starts. The construction was originally expected to start in January this year, but everything got delayed because of the pandemic,” said R.S. Ramaswamy, secretary of TNCA.
M.S. Dhoni’s recent announcement that he will not retire before playing a farewell game in Chennai has created excitement and it would be a treat to have a full house capacity for the memorable day.
The renovation work has been long pending because of the earlier standoff between TNCA and the authorities. Three stands (I, J and K) were sealed by Chennai Corporation and the stadium lost out on hosting many international fixtures such as men’s World T20 in 2016 because of the issue.
The decade-long tussle came to an end in March 2020 only after MCC demolished a gymnasium to create more setback space. The officials finally gave permissions to open the three stands and the Chepauk stadium became the first venue in the country to host back-to-back Test matches when England toured in February.