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India vs England: TNCA ready to allow fans at Chepauk from 2nd Test | Cricket News

CHENNAI: Finally, there is some good news for the cricket fans in the city. The sports ministry’s decision to allow full capacity crowd into the stadiums for outdoor events and the Tamil Nadu government’s revised guidelines of permitting 50% crowd entry at stadiums have created a possibility that the second Test between India and England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here from February 13 could witness the return of spectators into the stadiums for the first time since lockdown.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has welcomed such a possibility but says that the final call will be taken by the Indian cricket board (BCCI). Chepauk will also host the first Test from February 5 but time will be a constraint for TNCA to make all the arrangements such as ticketing, installation of CCTVs to detect overcrowding at entry and exit points etc. to ensure a smooth return of fans. Earlier, the BCCI had announced that the first two Tests would be played behind closed doors.
“We have no objections but we will see how the first Test goes. However, we will be more than happy to accommodate the fans provided we get a clearance from all the necessary authorities. We are in talks with BCCI and waiting for their directive. However, if the BCCI asks us to allow fans inside the stadium from the first Test itself, we might not be able to do so due to time constraints,” TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy told TOI on Sunday.
The BCCI too is not ruling out the prospective return of spectators for the second Test and are currently in consultation with the England and Wales Cricket Board, TNCA and the TN health authorities. “It is not only the sports ministry’s directive but we have to follow the guidelines of the TN government and their health department too. We understand that time is too short for us to make the arrangements (for entry of fans) for the first Test but we are definitely trying to have them (fans) from the second Test,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told TOI.
With Tamil Nadu reporting a downward trend in Covid cases in recent weeks, the state government has stipulated that spectators cannot exceed more than 50 % of the capacity of the premises so that social distancing norms can be followed.
A TN government official reiterated that all other safety measures are in line with the ministry of home affairs and ministry of health and family welfare’s guidelines issued last week. “All spectators will be subjected to thermal screening and should have the Aarogya Setu app on their mobiles. Sanitising stations should be installed at multiple points inside the stands. There should be a strong vigilance inside the stands so that unnecessary gathering can be avoided. Other precautionary measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are mandatory,” the official stated.

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