Indian cricket team trains under security cover

December 8th, 2008 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 8 (IANS) With England deciding to go ahead with the two-Test tour, the Indian team assembled here Monday and went through a two-hour training routine at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium for the first match starting here Thursday.The entire venue has been sanitised with security forces, armed to the teeth, guarding the perimeter of the field inside the stadium, keeping away the horde of mediapersons who were informed there would be no formal statements forthcoming from the teams.

The only official interaction with the media is scheduled for Wednesday when the rival captains would field questions in a controlled environment.

The England team, in two batches, is expected to arrive here shortly from Abu Dhabi where the players have been training before deciding to return to India after receiving the go-ahead from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) security advisor Reg Dickason and other top ECB officials who were in the city last week to assess the situation.

By all indications, movement in the stadium would be carefully regulated and even applications for media accreditation were run past the City Police Commissioner before approval.

Perhaps calming the nerves was the weather that by Chennai standards is extremely pleasant with the skies rather overcast, but no threat of immediate rains.

The ground looked to have survived the pounding it received during the recent cyclone that left the better part of the city water-logged.

The stadium has received the usual facelift and more significantly, the pitch appeared brown with specks of grass that is likely to be mown over the next couple of days.

The outfield sported an inviting lush green colour and having received good sunshine in the past week, promises to be lightning quick.

Meanwhile, the tickets for the match went on sale Monday, but officials said it was far too early to gauge public response.

England’s tour was abruptly interrupted last month following terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The visitors cut short their engagements and returned home while the remaining two one-day games of the seven-match series were cancelled with India leading 5-0.

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