In the recent series of developments around 50 per cent of spectators likely for the second Test match between India and England in Chennai. The Central Government has announced fresh COVID-19 guidelines which permitted crowd attendance at fifty per cent of capacity at sporting venues.
The first two Test matches of the high-profile series will be played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association had deliberated on the entry of spectators earlier also before deciding that the first two matches would be held closed doors.
However, the latest guidelines from the home ministry on easing restrictions on public movement might given them a chance to allow spectators in the stadium.
A senior TNCA official said it will not be possible to permit the crowd in the first Test due to short notice but they will try to get it for the second match.
“There is no time to allow entry of spectators for the first Test starting on February 5 as we only received the government notification on Saturday. You can’t organise entry of spectators at such a short notice,” a senior TNCA official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“But yes, now with fresh guidelines, there is every possibility that second Test starting from February 14 might have spectators as per notification,” he added.
The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium has a massive capacity of around 50,000.
Crowd entry is certain for the third and fourth Test between the two sides at the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.
A BCCI source said that Board’s top leadership and TNCA bosses will have a series of meetings to chalk out the modalities starting Monday.
“It was always clear that spectators will be allowed at Motera. But now that we have received the guidelines, the planning for the second Test can be reworked,” he said.
The TNCA is also contemplating allowing the media to cover from the press box. However, no concrete decision has been taken yet even though it is only logical that media also gets access to the press box if crowds are going to get in.
The media conferences will still be held remotely and the players or training session, for the time being, will remain out of bounds.
(With PTI Inputs)