S African and Indian squads to arrive tomorrow for first Test

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Chennai, Mar 21 (UNI) The unexpected return of rains due to a low pressure in the Lakshadweep is a cause of concern for the staging association, but M A Chidambaram stadium is sprucing itself up to host a Test match between South Africa and India for the first time here when the first of the three match series is to be played from March 26.

According to Tamil Nadu Cricket Association spectator response for the Test is good with ticket sales registering just a notch above 50 per cent so far.

The curtain on the Test will go up tomorrow with the South African team led by Graeme Smith, the left handed opening batsman in great form, arriving in the morning. At noon Smith and the team's coach Mickey Arthur are scheduled to address a media conference at the five star hotel, where the players would be put up.

The Indian squad led by Anil Kumble, the new Test captain for team India would arrive by evening, the players arriving individually. Kumble and new coach Gary Kirsten will be meeting the media personnel at 1800 hrs as a curtain raiser to their new association together.

And before the curtain raises on the Test match, the working committee meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is scheduled to be held here on March 25 with BCCI President Sharad Pawar also scheduled to participate.

''We can't help it if rain plays spoil sport,'' the TNCA Secretary said, talking to UNI today even as memories recur of the ODI match during the peak North East monsoon period of November in 2005, was washed out by torrential rain. What's more, following a High Court order, the state association was forced to refund the tickets sold for the match.

The wicket for the Test at the historic Chepauk ground is being prepared under the instructions of BCCI Pitches Committee south zone curator P R Viswanathan, based here.

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