As international cricket returns to Australia, the crowd capacities for the much-awaited India series has been confirmed, ranging from 75% at the Gabba to 25% at the MCG for Boxing Day. The SCG and Canberra will operate at 50% of their full capacity which is subject to changes in the future.
In good news for cricket fans, Cricket Australia has confirmed the crowd capacities for India's visit to Australia, ranging from 75% at the Gabba, which will stage the final Test, to 25% at the MCG for Boxing Day which will see the return of fans for the first time since the lockdown for international men’s cricket.
It had previously been announced that the aim was for a crowd of 25,000 at the MCG after Melbourne came out of its long Covid-19 lockdown. The exact figures for other stadiums remain to be confirmed, but it is likely to be a similar figure at the SCG, Adelaide Oval, the Gabba and the Manuka Oval in Canberra, which is estimated to be around 6000.
The SCG and Canberra, which will share the limited-overs matches at the start of the tour with Sydney then hosting the New Year's Test on January 7, will both operate at 50% of their full capacity subject to further changes.
The first international cricket to have spectators return was the Australia-New Zealand women's series staged in Brisbane from late September. To date, all men's internationals since the sport resumed have been played behind closed doors - the England home season and the Pakistan-Zimbabwe series - while IPL and CPL have also been staged without crowds.
Spectators have returned in small numbers to Australian and New Zealand domestic cricket in recent weeks. There were trials during the English season with a view to getting crowds back, but they were curtailed by rising Covid numbers.