50% fans allowed for 2nd Test in Chennai, Archer to wait & watch (Lead)
Chennai, Feb 2 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) on Tuesday said that 50 per cent of the seats at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium would be allowed to be filled with spectators for the second Test between India and England starting February 13, though England speedster Jofra Archer said he is not buying into it till he witnesses it with his own eyes.
“Till it happens I won’t believe it. Last eight months have been just as crazy and we have been made a mere promise and something like that (fans returning) hasn’t come off. So, till I actually see the fans walk in, I won’t believe it,” Archer told reporters on Tuesday.
Earlier, TNCA had announced that 50 per cent occupancy will be allowed in the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
“In view of the government announcement that 50 per cent occupancy would be allowed in stadia, the TNCA will allow 50 per cent spectators for the second Test to be held between 13th and 17th February 2021,” TNCA secretary R.S. Ramaswamy said in a statement.
“The first Test between India and England being held between 5th and 9th February 2021 will be played behind closed doors without spectators as a precautionary measure for COVID-19 situation. Further details will be communicated shortly,” he added.
In the Standard Operating Procedure for resumption of sports competitions in the country released on December 26, the Sports Ministry had allowed for stadia to filled upto 50 per cent of their seating capacity in outdoor events. However, the cap on number of spectators allowed could vary according to guidelines of local governments where the event is being held and on the basis of what the organisers decide.
Earlier, members of the Indian and England teams returned negative results to their Covid-19 tests and completed their quarantine periods ahead of the first Test.
The first two Tests of the four-match series will be played in Chennai while the third and fourth Tests will be played at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.