Spectators could be allowed in India-England Test series: Details here
In a huge development, the fans might be able to witness the impending Test series between India and England at the MA Chidambaram stadium. The Tamil Nadu Government has decided to allow spectators at sports events with a 50 percent seating capacity. Notably, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami made the announcement on Sunday while announcing certain relaxations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first two Tests between the two teams are scheduled to be played from February 5-9 and 13-17 respectively in Chennai. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) had informed its members that the first two Tests will be played behind closed doors. In a circular, TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy clarified the decision has been taken keeping in mind the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
It remains to be seen if the BCCI and TNCA would allow fans, considering the recent relaxations. If it happens, this would be the first sports event with spectators following the COVID-enforced break. Notably, India haven't hosted any international series since March 2020.
It is interesting to note that the Gujarat Government is also planning to allow spectators for the last two Tests. The third and fourth Test will be held at the newly-built Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad from February 24-28 and March 4-8 respectively. Notably, the third Test in Ahmedabad will be a Day/Night affair. The two teams will play a five-match T20I series thereafter.
The four-Test series is part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC). While India remain the front-runners to clinch the qualification berth, the impending series will decide the fate of England. Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia are the other contenders in the race. Interestingly, England were the last side that won a Test series in India (in 2012/13).