Despite the fight against COVID-19 being still on in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to bring back the crowd in stadiums during the five-match T20I series between India and England scheduled to begin on March 12. All five T20Is will be hosted by the world’s largest cricket ground- Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
According to ANI, a BCCI official has stated that the board is looking for all the options to allow crowd in the stadium but the decision still lies in the government’s hand.
“We are trying to open the stadium for fans to witness what awaits to be a thrilling T20I series between India and England. While we are yet to decide on the numbers, the idea is to get close to 50 percent of the seats filled. But the final decision lies with the government. Safety is a priority even as we adapt to the new normal,” the official said.
BCCI has decided not to issue tickets for the first two Tests against England:
Before the T20I series, India will also host England for the four-match Test series which will begin on February 5. The first two Tests will be hosted in Chennai and the last two Tests will be played in Ahemdabad. Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has already informed that no tickets will be put on sale for the first two Tests because of the prevailing pandemic.
“In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk to the safety of the players during the forthcoming India-England Test series. The players, officials will be undergoing strict quarantine and several rounds of COVID-19 tests before entering the bio-bubble. As per the BCCI directive, the first two Tests between February 5-17 being held at MA Chidambaram Stadium will take place be behind closed doors,” he wrote. “TNCA will not be issuing tickets or sub-committee badges.”
Since the pandemic, Australia and New Zealand are the only two places that have allowed spectators in the stadium.
Meanwhile, India has announced an 18-man Test squad for the first two Tests against England.