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Cyclone Vardah: India, England call off training due to conditions

The countries were unable to go through their paces in Chennai, where they are to play the final match of their five-Test series from Friday.
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Cyclone Vardah: India, England call off training due to conditions
PUNIT PARANJPE AFP

The England and Indian training sessions were cancelled on Wednesday owing to unfit ground conditions at the MA Chidambaram stadium in cyclone-battered Chennai, which hosts the fifth and final Test from Friday.

Cyclone chaos in Chennai

Ten people were killed by Cyclone Vardah, the worst cyclonic storm to hit the tech hub in southern Tamil Nadu state in more than two decades. Trees and power supply lines were also uprooted when Vardah struck on Monday.

A Indian fisherman surveys damaged boats at a harbour in Chennai on December 13, 2016.

Match to be played as planned

The Indian team management told AFP the match would go ahead, with Thursday's pre-match press conferences and training also taking place as scheduled.

The England team also said it had called off Wednesday's practice session and would now have bowling and fielding drills on Thursday.

"The pitch and outfield has not been affected"

Kashi Viswanathan, the secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, said the cyclone had caused damage to the sight screen and other stadium property.

"The sight screen has been badly damaged, the bulbs of the floodlights blown off, a number of air conditioners also got damaged," he told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency on Tuesday.

"The assuring part is that the pitch and the outfield has not been affected by the cyclone," he said.

Viswanathan also explained that three stands at the ground will be closed for the Test match due to a long-running dispute with the Chennai city council which has refused to issue safety certificates.

India's captain Virat Kohli applauds the crowd as he leads his team on a victory lap of the ground after India won the fourth Test.

Hosts go into Test with unassailable lead

India, the world number one Test side, have already clinched the five-match series 3-0 after an innings and 36-run victory in the fourth Test in Mumbai this week. The first Test at Rajkot had ended in a draw.