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Storm threatens India-Lanka Test

A severe cyclonic storm building in the Bay of Bengal has threatened to curtail the India-SL Test.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2005 17:55 IST

A severe cyclonic storm building in the Bay of Bengal has threatened to curtail the first cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka from Friday.

Cyclone Baaz is expected to hit the southeastern coast of India later on Thursday amidst fears of heavy rain in this cricket-mad metropolis already reeling under bad weather over the past month.

"Everything is possible. The storm may weaken or it may acquire greater intensity," said local Met official S Sridharan. "I am afraid the cricket will be affected."

That will be bad news for fans in Chennai who have already seen the last three international matches here fall by the wayside due to bad weather.

India's one-day internationals against New Zealand in 2003 and South Africa last fortnight were abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The second Test against Australia in Octoberin 2004was drawn after the final day's play was washed out with India on the doorstep of victory.

An incensed fan, Suresh Babu, has filed a lawsuit in a local court pleading that cricket officials must be told not to organise matches in Chennai between October and December when the monsoons are active.

Babu also demanded that the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) should refund the money paid for the abandoned South African one-dayer on November 22, local media said.

TNCA officials, fearing another rain-affected match, chose to sell only daily tickets for the Sri Lanka Test.

"Let the fans first see how the weather behaves and only then should they buy tickets," said TNCA official V Balajee.

Sri Lankan manager Michael Tissera hoped his team's first Test on Indian soil in eight years will not be affected.

"The boys are really geared up for the match and it will be a pity if it is rained off," said Tissera.

Heavy clouds gathered over the city on Thursday morning but there was no rain, allowing both teams to practice at the Chepauk.

First Published: Dec 01, 2005 11:45 IST