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India vs England, 5th Test: After Cyclone Vardah, groundsmen use burning coal to dry match strip

Chennai: The ground staff at Chennai's Chepauk stadium were on Wednesday seen using burning coal to dry the pitch set to be used for the fifth and final Test between India and England starting on 16 December.

 India vs England, 5th Test: After Cyclone Vardah, groundsmen use burning coal to dry match strip

File photo of Chennai's Chepauk stadium. Getty Images

Cyclone Vardah that lashed the city last Monday caused considerable damage to property and the iconic stadium has also not been spared. However, the square and the outfield have not been damaged. But the downpour has certainly left a lot of dampness on the 22-yard strip.

That is the reason the age-old formula of keeping burning coal trays on pitches is being used. It is a tried and tested formula to soak the dampness and try to make it as dry as possible with less than 48 hours left for the Test to start.

BCCI's south zone curator PR Viswanathan is satisfied with the current 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 said.

TNCA secretary Kashi Viswanathan is supervising the arrangement as the association is working on a war footing to get things in order. The veteran official is confident that everything will be in order before the first delivery is bowled.

He said: "It was bad yesterday (on Tuesday) and the day before but with the progress of the work to resolve everything... has been very encouraging. Our staff (are) getting the sightscreens in (proper) condition. Work towards this is almost over and we are confident about the scheduled start of the match."

The TNCA secretary said that due to a good drainage system, the outfield will not remain soggy.

"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 they were totally wet. Thus the rival team members can only have fielding sessions tomorrow (Thursday) morning. We are sorry about that."

He also informed that the damaged air conditioners and one of the stadium gates are being repaired.

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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2016 18:29:45 IST

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