01 Feb

The BCCI and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) have decided to allow 50 per cent spectators to witness the second India-England Test to be held at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium. 

The issue was discussed by the TNCA members after fresh COVID-19 guidelines on easing of public movement and entry of spectators into sporting venues were issued. The move was cleared in a meeting between TNCA and BCCI officials. 

"We discussed the issue of allowing spectators for the second India vs England Test following fresh COVID-19 guidelines by the Central Government permitting crowds at sporting venues and also the State Government's SOPs given on Sunday," a TNCA official said. 

"It has been decided by the BCCI and TNCA to allow 50 per cent spectators for the second Test by following all safety protocols." 

The M.A. Chidambaram stadium has a capacity of 50,000. 

The first Test begins on Friday while the second match starts on February 13. Crowds have already been allowed for the third and fourth Test in Ahmedabad. 

The official also said that media would be allowed to cover both the Tests from the press box at the stadium. However, media conferences would still be held virtually. 

The BCCI and the TNCA had earlier decided that the first two matches would be held behind closed doors. But the fresh home ministry guidelines on easing of restrictions on public movement have changed the scenario. 

"There is little time to make arrangements for spectators’ entry for the first Test so the crowd cannot be allowed. Though the gap between the two Tests is only three days, we are confident that arrangements can be made for (50 per cent) fans in second Test keeping the safety norms in mind," the official added. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had requested that matches be played behind closed doors. 

John Stephenson 


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