Ind Vs SL 1st Test: Mohali admits 50 percent audience for 1st Test against Sri Lanka

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday gave the green light to the Punjab Cricket Association to host the 1st Test between India and Sri Lanka with a 50 per cent capacity at the PCA Stadium. The BCCI’s decision is welcome news for spectators, who will be able to watch Virat Kohli’s 100th test from the stands.

The BCCI has asked the PCA to make arrangements to allow fans a capacity of up to 50 percent of the PCA Stadium for Kohli’s landmark Test. It remains to be seen when ticket sales will begin for the Test series opener, considering the imitation will be in time for match tickets to be printed. The PCA is expected to allow tickets to be sold online.

India takes on Sri Lanka in the first of 2 Test series in Mohali from Friday 4th March.

FANS CAN REFLECT HISTORICAL MOMENT: JAY SHAH

Meanwhile, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement he was looking forward to Virat Kohli’s 100th Test and that the game would not be behind closed doors in Mohali.

“The first test between India and Sri Lanka, to be played at the Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali, will not be held behind closed doors,” Shah said.

“The decision to allow spectators into the ground is being made by the State Cricket Associations and is based on a number of factors in the current circumstances. I have spoken to PCA officials and they have confirmed that cricket fans will be able to witness the historic moment as Virat Kohli played his 100th test match.”

“While we started the West Indies Tour of India behind closed doors, the encouraging drop in COVID-19 cases allowed the host associations to admit crowds.

“Based on the recommendations of the state health authorities, fans were able to witness the Kolkata and Dharamsala games while UPCA Lucknow T20I had a crowd-free day before the game based on polls.

“I’m really looking forward to Virat Kohli’s 100th Test and wish our cricket champion the very best. This is an opportunity for our fans to enjoy. May he continue to represent the country in many more games.”

Last week, PCA Treasurer RP Singla made this known to the PTI Fans will be excluded from participation the first test against Sri Lanka because of Covid-19. He added that the decision was made in line with a BCCI policy.

However, the PCA put up billboards throughout the stadium to celebrate the momentous occasion. Singla had also informed the agency that either before or after the friendly in Mohali, Virat Kohli would be congratulated by the top council of the state body.

However, some fans expressed disappointment that Kohli played his 100th test in front of empty stands in Mohali and questioned BCCI’s decision. While the T20I series against Sri Lanka was played with spectators in both Dharamsala, the Bengaluru 2nd Test will also be at 50 percent capacity at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said on Monday that it was disappointing not to have an audience at Virat Kohli’s 100th test.

“Every game you play, you want the crowd to be there. India has been playing without a crowd lately. Every performer, be it an actor, be it a cricketer, wants to play in front of the crowd. The 100th test is very, very special. It’s disappointing that there won’t be an audience, but I think the decision was made in the wider interest. Cases in and around Mohali, where the game is being played, have increased,” Sunil Gavaskar had said sports today.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Jasprit Bumrah, India’s vice-captain, also said the team is not focusing on things out of their control when asked about the board’s original decision not to crowd for the landmark test to have.

“Right now we’re focusing on what we can control. Of course it’s great when there’s a lot of spectators because they bring energy. But that’s not in our hands. We can only focus on winning the game,” said Bumrah.

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