Spectators might be allowed in the second test of India against England in Chennai after the Central Government’s fresh COVID-19 guidelines permitted crowd attendance at 50% of capacity at Sporting venues.
The BCCI & the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association earlier also were not in favor of the entry of spectators before deciding that the first two matches would be held behind closed doors. But the fresh home ministry guidelines on easing the restrictions on public movement have changed the situation completely. . “There is no time to allow entry of spectators for the first Test starting on February 5 as we only received the government notification on Saturday. You can’t organise entry of spectators at such a short notice,” a senior TNCA official told media.
“But yes, now with fresh guidelines, there is every possibility that second Test starting from February 14 might have spectators as per notification,” he added. The Chepauk stadium has a capacity of 50,000 spectators. Crowd entry is certain for the third & fourth test between the two teams at the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.
A BCCI source said that Board’s top leadership & TNCA bosses will have a series of long meetings to chalk out the modalities which will start from Monday. “It was always clear that spectators will be allowed at Motera. But now that we have received the guidelines, the planning for the second Test can be reworked,” he said.
The TNCA is also planning to allow the media to cover from the press box. However, no concrete decision has been taken yet though it is logical that media will also get access to the press box if spectators are allowed in the stadium. The media conferences will be held remotely & the players or training session for the time being will remain out of bounds.