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No imminent threat to Chennai Test - Shirke

The TNCA is confident of staging the Test from December 16 ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The BCCI is yet to decide on moving the fifth and final Test between India and England from December 16 out of Chennai following the death of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday. Ajay Shirke, the secretary, said the board was seeking inputs from the host association - the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) - and monitoring the situation closely. He also said no deadline had been set for naming an alternate venue since it was an evolving situation.

"We haven't taken any decision with regard to the Chennai Test match," Shirke told reporters after the meeting of the senior tournament committee in Mumbai. "It's a very sensitive decision. We are keeping a close watch on the situation and we are taking the inputs from the local host association as to what is the mood and the sentiment of the people, and based on what evolves, the final decision for the match will be taken."

TNCA secretary Kasi Viswanathan, however, wrote to the board that Chennai was ready to host the Test. "We have communicated to the BCCI this morning that we won't be able to host the ongoing Ranji Trophy game [between Odisha and Jharkhand in Natham near Dindigul] and under-19 match because of state mourning for seven days and closure of schools and colleges for three days," he told ESPNcricinfo. "But, we will host the Test match because after December 12 the [week-long] mourning period is over.

"We are monitoring the situation almost on an hourly or a daily basis," he said. "The BCCI has got a number of alternate venues; in fact, there are new venues which have been added so there is no paucity of venues for hosting a Test match. Again, that should not be read as a decision [of the game] having been shifted."

The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai last hosted a Test match three years ago against Australia, while its most recent international game came last year in an ODI against South Africa. During England's tour of India in 2008, Chennai emerged as one the two alternate venues after the terror attacks in Mumbai forced the Test matches to be moved out of Mumbai and Ahmedabad.