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Uncertainty over Chennai Test following CM Jayalalithaa’s death

The effects of the death of Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa has spilled over to the sporting world, with uncertainty prevailing over the security situation in Chennai which is scheduled to host the fifth and final Test in the on-going series between England and India.

The 68-year-old Chief Minister passed away on Monday after suffering a heart attack. She had also been undergoing treatment for various ailments over the past two months. Following her death, many of her supporters have spilled out onto the streets, mourning the death of their beloved leader. A seven-day state mourning period has been declared while several junior level matches have also been postponed.

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There were fears that security in the state could deteriorate following Jayalalithaa’s death, with the city of Chennai completely shut down. Security has been beefed up massively to prevent any violence that may worsen the situation.

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association has claimed that they are ready to host the Test, which starts on December 17th, as the mourning period will be over by the 12th itself. On the other hand, a Ranji match between Jharkhand and Odisha has been postponed, along with some junior age group matches, as the dates clashed with the mourning period. Chennai last hosted a Test match three years ago.

“We have communicated to the BCCI this morning that we won’t be able to host the ongoing Ranji Trophy game [between Odisha and Jharkhand in Natham near Dindigul] and under-19 match because of state mourning for seven days and closure of schools and colleges for three days. But, we will host the Test match because after December 12 the [week-long] mourning period is over, TNCA secretary Kasi Vishwanathan told ESPN.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the BCCI has decided to have Kolkata as back-up venue for the fifth Test, in case they are unable to hold the Test in Chennai due to detrimental security conditions. A final decision will be taken later according to BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, with the board adopting a wait and watch strategy for now.

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