New-look Chepauk for 3rd Australia ODI, IPL, with Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Stand

The MA Chidambaram Stadium will sport a swanky new look for the third and final ODI between India and Australia as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin inaugurated the new Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Stand.

Stalin cut the ribbon alongside former India captain MS Dhoni, who was the guest of honour for the function. Also present on the occasion was former BCCI and ICC head N Srinivasan and state minister for sports and youth welfare Udhayanidhi Stalin.

With the Madras Cricket Club stand also rebuilt, the venue sports a totally new look with eye-catching murals decorating the exterior and interior walls at the stadium, the second oldest in India after Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. Although the entire stadium was renovated ahead of the 2011 World Cup, the Anna Pavilion End which houses the ‘A’ and ‘B’ stands was left untouched. And with the I, J & K stands running into legal trouble, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association had to wait nearly a decade to undertake renovation to its two main stands.

After the legal tussle was resolved, the TNCA has built two new stands at a cost of around Rs 90 crore.

The new stand, apart from housing two spacious dressing rooms, also has an indoor training facility and a state-of-the-art gym on the first floor.

Apart from adding wheelchair-friendly seats (including washrooms) in the I lower stand, the stadium also sports a totally different look ahead of the ODIs and the Indian Premier League. The venue, home to the Chennai Super Kings, has a huge mural of Dhoni on one of the outside walls. Inside the gallery, murals of former and current players from Tamil Nadu – including those of S Venkataraghavan, K Srikanth and R Ashwin – have come up. There are also murals of iconic matches at the venue, including the 1986 Tied Test and the memorable Test against Australia in 2001.

While the redevelopment work is completed, work on the stadium’s exterior will continue with the TNCA planning a fresh facade before the 50-over World Cup.

Stadium tour

In a first of its kind in India, the TNCA has decided to launch a stadium tour. A museum, which is coming up in the new stand, will have memorabilia and a collection of items from iconic moments at the stadium. The stadium tour will have a guide as well as audio headsets.

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