Cyclone threatens to ruin Chennai Test December 1, 2005

Petition filed against TNCA

Cricinfo staff

Bad planning by the local association makes sights like this not uncommon in Chennai © Getty Images

A petition has been filed in a Chennai Court seeking an interim stay against the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) holding the first Test between India and Sri Lanka, starting December 2.

The petition, filed by Suresh Babu of Gummidipoondi, a suburb of Chennai, contends that the October-December period is when the Northeast monsoon settles over peninsular India. Babu's written petition contends: "It is pertinent to point out that the MA Chidambaram stadium, where the India-Sri Lanka match is to take place, is located less than 500 metres from the Chennai coastline. The respondent, TNCA, knowing fully well about the pattern of rainfall in India, more particularly Tamil Nadu, has made it a habit of deliberately hosting the matches in the monsoon season, with the intention to deceive the gullible public after collecting huge sums of money running into crores of rupees and without refunds of the same."

While seeking a stay on the sale of tickets for the Chennai Test, Babu also stated that he purchased a ticket for the India-South Africa one-day international on November 22 - worth about US$41 - which was eventually called off due to rain. "On three occasions the respondent held the matches in the season and if it had been held in the non-rainy season, I could have watched the matches." Babu has further contended that "the association has now proclaimed that it is going to conduct India-Sri Lanka Test match from December 2 to 6 despite the warning by the Meteorological Department that there is a low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal."

A severe cyclonic storm - Cyclone Baaz - building up in the Bay of Bengal has threatened to curtail the Chennai Test. 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. The South Africa match apart, one-day internationals between India and New Zealand in 2003 and the second Test against Australia in October last year were disrupted due to rain, and Babu's petition pleading for no more matches in Chennai comes at a critical time.

I Pandurangan, a second assistant civil court judge, ordered notice to the TNCA and posted the case for hearing on December 1.