The BCCI and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) have decided to allow 50% of the spectators to attend the second India-England test to be held at the MA Chidambaram stadium.
The issue was debated by TNCA members after the release of new COVID-19 guidelines on facilitating public movement and spectator entry to sports venues. The movement was authorized during a meeting between TNCA and BCCI officials.
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“We discussed the issue of spectator clearance for the second India v England test following new COVID-19 guidelines from central government allowing crowds at sports venues and state government SOPs given on Sunday,” said a TNCA official.
“It has been decided by BCCI and TNCA to allow 50 percent of spectators for the second test following all safety protocols.”
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The MA Chidambaram stadium has a capacity of 50,000 seats.
The first test begins on Friday while the second game begins on February 13. Crowds have already been cleared for the third and fourth test in Ahmedabad.
The official also said media would be allowed to cover both tests from the stadium press box. However, press conferences would still be held virtually.
BCCI and TNCA had previously decided that the first two matches would be held behind closed doors. But new Home Office guidelines on easing restrictions on public movement have changed the scenario.
The official said there was little time to allow spectators to enter for the opening test.
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He said that even though there was only a three-day gap between the first and the second test, the TNCA was confident to make arrangements to allow 50% of spectators in the stadium.
“There is little time to organize spectator entry for the first test, so crowds cannot be allowed. Although the gap between the two tests is only three days, we are confident that arrangements can be made. be taken for (50%) of the fans in the second Test keeping in mind the safety standards, ”added the official.
The Tamil Nadu government announced on Sunday that for sports, including cricket, 50% occupancy would be allowed in the stadiums.
The England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) had called for matches to be played behind closed doors.