The Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association have made a decision to allow 50 per cent of spectators for the second Test match between India and England. The first two matches are scheduled to held at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
The decision was taken after the central government announced fresh guidelines that permitted crowd attendance at fifty per cent of capacity at sporting venues. The move was cleared in a meeting between TNCA and BCCI officials.
“We discussed the issue of allowing spectators for the second India vs England Test following fresh COVID-19 guidelines by the Central government permitting crowds at sporting venues and also the state government’s SOPs given on Sunday,” the TNCA official told PTI.
“It has been decided by the BCCI and TNCA to allow 50 per cent spectators for the second Test by following all safety protocols.”
However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had requested that matches be played behind closed doors for the safety of the players.
The M A Chidambaram stadium has a capacity of 50,000.
Meanwhile, BCCI has already started planning to allow 50 per cent spectators for the third and fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
The official also said that media would be allowed to cover both the Tests from the press box at the stadium. However, media conferences would still be held virtually.
The first Test match of the series will be played on February 5 and the official claims that there was little time to allow entry of fans for the opening clash,
He said even though there was only a gap of three days between the first and second Tests, the TNCA was confident of making arrangements to allow 50 per cent spectators in the stadium.
“There is little time to make arrangements for spectators entry for the first Test so the crowd cannot be allowed. Though the gap between the two Tests is only three days, we are confident that arrangements can be made for (50 per cent) fans in second Test keeping the safety norms in mind,” the official added.
The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that for sports, including cricket, 50 per cent occupancy would be allowed in stadiums.