Virat Kohli has been rested for the ongoing T20I series against Sri Lanka but the former captain will return for the forthcoming 2-Test series in March. Kohli will play his 100th Test when India take on Sri Lanka at the PCA Stadium in Mohali from March 5. There are many expectations of the star-batter’s landmark game, but the decision not to have an audience at the PCA Stadium has not pleased a section of cricket fans.
PCA Treasurer RP Singla confirmed this on Saturday Fans are not allowed to see the first test against Sri Lanka from the legendary stadium in Mohali. Singla said the decision was made in accordance with a guideline from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Yes, apart from the people who are on duty for the test match, according to the BCCI’s instructions, we do not allow general spectators,” Singla told the PTI news agency.
“Nevertheless, new COVID cases are popping up in and around Mohali, so it’s better that we follow all safety protocols. Obviously the fans are missing out because there’s an international match in Mohali after almost three years.”
While the decision not to allow fans to contain the risk of Covid-19 infection has been the norm in recent years, fans have questioned this, citing that the ongoing T20I series will be played with spectators in Dharamsala . Remarkably, Ahmedabad didn’t allow a crowd for the ODI series against West Indies earlier this month, but Kolkata’s Eden Gardens had fans, albeit with a reduced capacity, for the final game of the series.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which will host the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka, also confirmed a capacity of 50 percent.
It’s a shame Virat Kohli’s 100th Test will not have an audience to celebrate one of his greatest days in cricket. Perhaps a certain percentage should have been let in during testing @BCCI
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) February 26, 2022
— naman ?harma (@namansharma1819) February 27, 2022
The Punjab government is helpless after receiving the order from the “BCCI” to organize the 100th test of Virat Kohli behind closed doors.
Crowds allowed in Kolkata, Dharamshala and Bengaluru but not in Mohali. What dirty politics BCCI is playing here! Shameful.#ShameOnBCCI
— Golu Agrawal (@Dieheartakkian) February 27, 2022
It is so unfortunate that the Mohali test match will not have an audience. Bangalore main hello rakh dete.. ?? pic.twitter.com/2tIDtWG5HS
— Meer Muzamil (@MuzamilUnique) February 27, 2022
BCCI awards PCA (Punjab Cricket Association) contract to stage first Test match (100th Test of VK) behind closed doors.
Remainder all matches to be played with audience ????
How unfair ???? #ViratKohli?? pic.twitter.com/I0GhTTBcXu
— Charan Khovdary ?? (@_charanhowdary) February 27, 2022
No crowd was allowed for Virat Kohli’s 100th test
Meanwhile crowd for T20s and 2nd test in Bengaluru has been approved
Average of Covid cases in the last 7 days
Bangalore – 882
– The Batman (@GoatViratKohli) February 26, 2022
The man who always prioritized Test cricket. The one who brought Indian audiences back to see Test cricket. The man who brings passion enough to rub off on the crowd will be playing his 100th Test behind closed doors. Why? @BCCI @imVkohli #ViratKohli??
— Dinkey (@dinkipruthi25) February 27, 2022
Virat Kohli was due to play his 100th Test in South Africa in early January but the then-captain missed the 2nd Test of a 3-game series due to a back injury.
It was a difficult period for Virat Kohli in international cricket when he was sacked as ODI captain, months after deciding to step down as T20I captain. Notably, Kohli also resigned from his role as Test captain after India lost the series 2–1 in South Africa, ending as India’s most successful captain in the game’s longest format.
Kohli had also claimed a lack of communication from the BCCI about his decision to relinquish the captaincy of T20I and the selectors’ decision to dismiss him as ODI captain. Kohli even contradicted BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s claims that board members asked him to continue as T20I captain during an explosive press conference in December.
Speculation was rife that BCCI Kohli was considering a show-cuse message to explain his comments at the press conference. However, Ganguly dismissed the rumors shortly thereafter Supported by Chetan Sharma The chief executive said BCCI leaders and selectors had indeed asked Kohli to continue and reconsider his decision to quit as captain before last year’s T20 World Cup.