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Sunshine greets India at Chepauk

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2010 00:14 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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The rain stayed away and the sun shone on this port city on Wednesday, brightening the chances of Friday's fifth and final one-dayer between India and New Zealand being held without a hitch.

The curator at the MA Chidambaram Stadium - or Chepauk as it is popularly known - said on Wednesday afternoon that even it pours over the next one-and-a-half days the ground can be made ready in an hour.

"The rain, if it comes down again, just has to stop," PR Viswanathan, the curator of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), said.

The outfield looked remarkably dry on Wednesday afternoon given that it has been raining here almost continuously for the past four days, till it stopped on Tuesday night. "The pitch is not completely right now, but it will be once we roll it tomorrow," Viswanathan said.

The main square, the bowlers' run-ups and the practice wickets have been under cover for the better part of 10 days when it rained on and off. The rest of the ground soaked in the water but was cleared through the underground drainage system.

"We have about 16,000 feet of underground pipes. These perforated PVC pipes are laid all around the square and are connected to eight main channels in a herringbone design. All the pipes slope outwards so that the water runs out to the drain across the boundary line. From there, four big outlets routes the water to the canal outside," the curator said.

The top soil at Chepauk has 70 per cent sand, followed by another layer of pure sand, which makes it a fast-drying ground, said Viswanathan.

The rain has also affected reconstruction of the stadium ahead of next year's World Cup. A number of new stands are still not ready and it is not clear how many of them can be opened to the public for Friday's match. With India already 4-0 up despite missing most of the big gun, the interest in the last match of the one-day series is likely to be tepid anyway.

And with all the older stands torn down and replaced or being replaced, many parts of the stadium resemble a construction site right now.