'I think it is my 140th game, and I have never played in a game where we haven't had nets but sometimes you have to remember what happened in the cyclone -- people lost their lives'
England captain Alastair Cook said missing the pre-match net session in Chennai did not seem too important considering the sufferings that the people of city had to endure in the wake of Cyclone Vardah.
The southern metropolis has been ravaged by the cyclone that left in its wake large-scale destruction. The catastrophe did not spare the iconic Chepauk either. But fortunately the square and the outfield have not been damaged.
Training sessions were cancelled both the days before the Test owing to a wet ground, despite the stadium boasting of one of the best drainage systems in the country.
"Cricket players face all kinds of situations. I think it is my 140th game, and I have never played in a game where we haven't had nets but sometimes you have to remember what happened in the cyclone -- people lost their lives," said Cook on the eve of the fifth and final Test between India and England, in Chennai.
"So, a nets session a day before doesn't seem quite as important as what people have gone through. We are only driving from hotel to here, airport to hotel. Looking around, it is a reminder how lucky we are," he added.
In their quest to get the venue ready in time, the ground staff were seen using burning coal to dry the pitch on Wednesday to be ready in time for the match, which was rendered inconsequential after India wrapped up the five-Test series in the last match in Mumbai by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead.
IMAGE: England captain Alastair Cook warms up alongside Joe Root
Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images.