A new stand, which will house the Anna Pavilion at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, is set to be named after former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, sources in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) told The Indian Express. The new-look Anna Pavilion will include a state-of-the-art indoor training facility on the ground floor.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will inaugurate the new stand named after his late father, who was a five-time chief minister of the state between 1969-2011 on March 17. A new Madras Cricket Club stand will also be ready by this date.
Udhyanidhi Stalin, the minister for youth welfare and sports development and former India captain MS Dhoni will also be present at the inauguration event.
The iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium, which is the second oldest in India after Eden Gardens, has been undergoing renovation ahead of the 2023 50-over World Cup. The new stands will be open to the public for the third and final ODI between India and Australia on March 22.
Although none of the stands are named after any former player, administrator or politician, the TNCA has made an exception to honour the five-time CM, who passed away in 2018. Right through his political career, Karunanidhi was a constant presence at matches at Chepauk, a constituency that elected him as MLA during his last two tenures as chief minister.
It was Karunanidhi, who inaugurated the pavilion named after former DMK leader and CM CN Annadurai. And ever since the TNCA decided to build the pavilion stands, there were indications that it would be named after Karunanidhi. Over the years, the association has enjoyed close relationship with successive DMK governments and the current president of TNCA Dr P Ashok Sigamani is the son of the state’s minister for higher education K Ponmudy.
Besides a museum is also coming up which will trace the history of TNCA. With the two new stands, the capacity of the stadium is expected to be around 38,000.
Meanwhile, the TNCA has announced that the online ticket sales for the third ODI between India and Australia on March 22 will commence on Sunday. The tickets can be brought via PAYTM and http://www.insider.in from March 13. The I lower stand will also include seats for fans who use wheelchairs.