South Australia cricket chief expects 21,000-strong crowd for India vs Australia day-night Test

The Adelaide game, the first of the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy, will be the first time India is playing a pink-ball Test away from home.

Adelaide Oval

“Even though we are at half capacity, we will probably have a crowd between 20,000 and 21,000 [per day for the day-night Test between Australia and India that starts December 17],” SACA CEO Keith Bradshaw said.   -  Getty Images

South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) chief executive Keith Bradshaw on Friday said he is expecting a large crowd at the Adelaide Oval for the day-night Test between Australia and India that starts December 17, while terming India’s tour Down Under in a year in which most fixtures were postponed, cancelled or relocated a “massive occasion.”

“Even though we are at half capacity, we will probably have a crowd between 20,000 and 21,000 [per day],” Bradshaw said in an interaction with Sportstar. “The ticket sales have been very strong... I mean, when India comes here, the interest is huge. First, we went on sale with the member tickets; they were all sold out in a jiffy. We’ve now made the public tickets available; I don’t have the exact numbers yet, but the response has been very strong,” he said.

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FILE PHOTO: South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) CEO Keith Bradshaw   -  Getty Images

 

The Adelaide game, the first of the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy, will be the first time India is playing a pink-ball Test – as the day-night games are referred to – away from home. India’s only previous pink-ball Test was against Bangladesh in Kolkata in 2019.

Kohli attraction

India captain Virat Kohli will return home after the first Test ends on December 21 to attend the birth of his first child, and Bradshaw said that has piqued interest among the fans.

“Virat Kohli is a massive attraction – this is also the only chance for the fans to watch Kohli play live in a Test match in Australia this summer. So that adds to the buildup,” the SACA chief executive said before adding, “We have 50,000 seats... A lot of those are restricted view seats. The arrangement, of course, is different for cricket and football. There are a lot of seats that are cued to the sightscreen, so we can’t use those [for the Test match]. We also have a lot of camera angles set up within the ground to enhance the broadcast.”

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The arrangements and facilities across Australia notwithstanding, there remains the possibility of an outbreak taking place while the Test match is on. But Bradshaw said contingency measures are already in place to deal with any untoward incident. 

Contingency measures

“A lot of effort has gone into developing the biosecurity plans to ensure the safety of the players and spectators. That’s why even when the minor outbreak occurred, we were able to work our way out of it. For instance, with the Big Bash League coming up, we immediately facilitated a mass airlift of our players into New South Wales. Suffice to say, we have planes for every contingency you can think of [for the India Test]! (Laughs). But hopefully, they will stay on the shelf, and we won’t have to use them,” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw also credited the collaboration between the SACA, Cricket Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Australia’s health officials for successful conduct of the tour. “It’s been very open, honest and transparent, and everyone’s been very understanding of the situation,” he said. “So, we didn’t have to stress when the outbreak occurred, and we went under lockdown. That said, we were able to get that under control very quickly. We have very sophisticated systems in Australia and South Australia to deal with such situations... We haven’t had a case here in the last five days or so. Things are looking up at the moment. We have daily meetings with the health authorities here to keep a tab on the proceedings.”

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