Will there be fans at the MA Chidambaram stadium when India take on England in the first Test on February 5? That”s a possibility now as the Tamil Nadu government has allowed spectators at sports events with 50 percent seating capacity.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswamy made the announcement on Sunday while announcing certain relaxations on the COVID-19 induced lockdown in the state. Chennai is set to host the first two Tests against England, with the second starting on February 13.
It remains to be seen if the BCCI and TNCA will consider allowing fans to the venue.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association had made it clear that they are in no mood for any complacency which means Chennai is likely to host the series opener amidst an empty stadium.
“In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk with 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,” TNCA Seceretary RS Ramasaamy wrote in the circular.
“As per BCCI directive, the first two Tests between February 5-17 being held at MA Chidambaram Stadium will take place behind closed doors. TNCA will not be issuing tickets or sub-committee badges.”
The BCCI might throw Ahmedabad’s brand new Motera stadium open for fans when India take on England in five match T20 Series from March 12.
England will play a four match Test series starting February 5. This will be followed by a five match T20 Series and a three-match ODI series. The first Test begins in Chennai.