Second India-England Test to see 50 per cent spectators
The second Test between India and England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, starting February 13, is set to have 50 per cent crowd in attendance. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary RS Ramasaamy confirmed the development on Monday. It is understood that the BCCI has informally given permission to the TNCA to open its gates for spectators. Here is more.
As per reports, the I, J, and K stands of the MA Chidambaram Stadium will likely be opened to public, subject to approval from Tamil Nadu government. Thereafter, the ticket details and standard operating procedures for crowds will be released.
The development came after the Tamil Nadu government decided to allow spectators at sports events with a 50 percent seating capacity. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami made the announcement on Sunday while announcing certain relaxations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been learned that the TNCA had approached the BCCI to allow fans in second Test, following the announcement.
A report in ESPNcricinfo states that the media personnel are likely to be allowed at the stadium from the first Test itself if BCCI approves these measures formally. Earlier, neither spectators nor media personnel were allowed at the seven venues, where India's only domestic tournament in the season so far, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, was held.
Previously, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) had informed its members that the first two Tests will be played behind closed doors. In a circular, secretary RS Ramasaamy clarified the decision has been taken considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation. The first two Tests between the two teams are scheduled to be played from February 5-9 and 13-17 respectively in Chennai.
All members of the India and England Test squads have tested negative for COVID-19, and have been cleared to exit their bio-secure bubbles for training. The two teams had been serving the mandatory six-day quarantines after arriving in Chennai. While England will train as per schedule from Tuesday afternoon, India have begun their preparations. A team statement confirmed the same on Monday.