India vs England: Chepauk to allow 50 per cent crowd for second Test

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 TNCA along with the BCCI have agreed to allow 50 per cent crowd for the second Test.   -  The Hindu

The two India-England Tests in Chennai will not be played before empty stands after all. Monday was a busy day for TNCA officials, who first held a meeting among themselves and then were engaged in deliberations with the BCCI.

The State Government’s decision to allow 50 per cent spectators in the stadium for all sporting events had put the ball in TNCA’s court, opening up the issue.

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At the end of it all, TNCA secretary R.S. Ramasaamy said to Sportstar, “For the first Test, since we don’t have time to prepare and all along our mindset was ‘Tests without crowds,’ we will issue tickets only to 180 member clubs, each of whom will get two tickets. So we are looking at 360 spectators.”

Ramasaamy added, “For the second Test, we have decided with the BCCI that we would have 50 per cent of the stands full. But the spectators would not be seated in the pavilion, the pavilion terrace or the nearby areas of the stadium.”

The first Test gets underway on February 5 and there is a three-day gap between the first and the second Tests.

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However, an England team spokesperson said, “We are still waiting to hear from the BCCI, in terms of their protocols for the forthcoming Test series.”

Ramasaamy said the BCCI in due course would communicate its decision to the ECB.

There was good news for the media too. The press box would be open to the media for both the Tests here. “The journalists will need to get local accreditation from the TNCA since there is little time for central accreditation,” Ramasaamy said.

So the sound of silence would not rule at Chepauk in the first two Tests. And, in the second Test, you could hear the `roar’ from the crowd too.