Players on both sides will most likely wear black armbands during the fifth Test in Chennai as a mark of respect for former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, who passed away last week. Despite the state being hit with cyclone Vardah, the ground staff have been able to protect the pitch from damage.
"We have requested both England and India teams to wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the departed soul of our former CM. Because of this tragedy, the TNCA has decided against having any kind of function or felicitation during the match," a senior TNCA official told PTI on Wednesday.
Chennai was hit by cyclone 'Vardah' last Monday causing considerable damage to the property at Chepauk Stadium, but the groundstaff were seen working hard on Wednesday trying to dry the pitch using burning coal to ready it for the final Test.
BCCI's south zone curator PR Viswanathan has expressed his satisfaction over the condition of the pitch.
"The wickets prepared for the match and the outfield are in excellent condition. It should play true but I cannot say as to how the wicket would behave," Viswanathan told PTI on Thursday.
TNCA secretary Kashi Viswanathan has also assured that everything will be in order before the first delivery is bowled on December 16.
He said: "It was bad yesterday and day before but with the progress of the work to resolve everything get them in its place has been very encouraging. Our staff getting the sightscreens in condition. Work towards this is almost over and we are confident about the scheduled start of the match."
Viswanathan was also confident that the outfield will also dry out before the match starts given the good drainage facilities in the stadium.
"One good thing is the drainage system at the stadium which is very good. It is unfortunate that the practice pitches on the other side of the pavilion could not be readied as it was totally wet. Thus the rival team members can only have fielding sessions tomorrow morning. We are sorry about that," he informed the players.
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