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Reports | BCCI extremely keen to stage England Tests at 50% crowd capacity

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The IND vs ENG series could happen in front of fans

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Reports | BCCI extremely keen to stage England Tests at 50% crowd capacity

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SportsCafe Desk

01/21/2021

The BCCI are reportedly extremely keen to stage the forthcoming four-Test series against England at 50% crowd capacity and are said to be in talks with state associations and health authorities to ensure the same. In December, the Sports Ministry gave the green light to allow fans in outdoor venues.

In what could potentially be a move that could spark huge controversy, the BCCI are said to be pushing a very strong case to allow fans inside stadiums for the forthcoming four Test series between India and England. The India-England series will mark the return of international cricket to the country for the first time in a year, but, despite Covid-19 cases still surging in the country, it is believed that the BCCI are keen to stage the series with spectators.

Last month, the government of India confirmed that outdoor sporting venues will be allowed to host fans at 50% crowd capacity, and with the first Test in Chepauk kicking off in a fortnight, the BCCI are reportedly in talks with the state associations - TNCA and GCA - and health authorities to allow spectators inside stadiums. 

"As of now, we are likely to allow 50 percent spectators for the four Test matches. The BCCI is in talks with both state cricket associations (TNCA and GCA) and also state health authorities," a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The Covid-19 situation in India is far from under control, with the country recording more than 15,000 cases in the past 24 hours, but the BCCI are said to be confident that, with necessary precautions, a safe environment can be created. Should the plan go ahead, it is also said to be used as a trial for whether IPL 2021 can also be staged with fans.

"If you allow 50 percent crowd with all necessary precautions, then it will be an indicator if we can also allow spectators during IPL in India," the source said.

Should the government give the go ahead, then 50% crowd capacity would mean Chepauk staging close to 25,000 fans, and the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad holding 55,000 fans. 

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