Chennai getting into test cricket groove

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Chennai, Mar 16 (UNI) Test match mood has descended again on the officials of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) on the premises of the venue M A Chidamaram stadium as well as cricket fans, who are queueing up in front of the counters as the sale of tickets began for the first of the three test matches between India and South Africa to be played here from March 26 to 30.

However, on the first day today and perhaps being exam time, the response or rather the rush to grab the tickets was somewhat lukewarm with only the Rs 200 ticket counter doing some brisk business.

South Africa will be playing a test match in Chennai, at the historic Chepauk cricket ground for the first time. Prior to this impending test contest, the Proteas had the mortification of seeing their ODI match here in November 2006, being washed out by torrential monsoon rains.

Consequently, the TNCA also had to refund the ticket price following an order from High Court.

And the Chidambaram stadium had last played host to a test match in December, 2006 against Sri Lanka, which was also washed out.

The curtain will go up on the test match with the TNCA felicitating India's new test captain and leg spinner Anil Kumble, who has also emerged as the third bowler in test cricket to take 600 wickets after Sri Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralidharan and former Aussie leg spinner Shane Warne.

The working committee meeting of the cricket board will also be held prior to the function to felicitate Kumble on March 25, TNCA Secretary Kasi Viswanathan said.

Meanwhile, the India squad for the first test would be announced on March 19 in Mumbai.

The South African team, which will be arriving in Chennai on March 21, have asked for a warm up game.

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