Cricket Australia to allow presence of spectators inside stadiums
Spectators will return to witness international cricket this month, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruption. Notably, the fans could be allowed to witness the upcoming series (women's) featuring Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane. Cricket Australia (CA), on Monday, announced that tickets will be available for the T20I and ODI series, starting September 26. Here is more on the same.
The capacity at the venue will be kept at 50 percent as per Queensland Government COVID-19 regulations. There will be several other protocols and restrictions in place. Cricket Australia has advised the fans to cheer less in order to avoid the transmission of the virus through droplets. "Try to keep shouting, singing, cheering, or celebrating to a minimum to avoid transmission," the guidelines read.
All tickets will have to be bought online, while the spectators should have the details stored on a mobile device if contact tracing is required. The ground will be split into six zones with people not allowed to move outside of their designated area. Furthermore, there will be no interaction with the players during the matches for things like selfies or autographs.
Some members of Australia's squad are currently undergoing two weeks quarantine in Brisbane, along with the New Zealand contingent. They are allowed to train for three hours a day at the Allan Border Field, with the rest of the Australia squad arriving next week. Meanwhile, the two sides will play each other in a warm-up match ahead of the official series.
The last international in Australia in the presence of a crowd was the Women's T20 WC final. Notably, the final was attended by over 86,000 people. Overall, the second T20I between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (men's) was the last international to have spectators. Two days later, the Men's ODI between Australia and New Zealand was played behind closed doors before COVID-19 halted the sport.
The Test series between England and West Indies finally marked the resumption of cricket in July. However, the series was played in a bio-secure bubble across two venues in UK (Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford). England have now hosted Pakistan and Australia as well with matches being played behind closed doors. The recently concluded CPL was also played behind closed doors in Trinidad.