The new norms will be applied to the upcoming England tour of India.
The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 witnessed all cricket matches being played behind the closed doors with no fans in the stadium. By the end of the year, countries like Australia and New Zealand welcomed the fans back but India didn’t witness much cricket in the country itself due to the ever-rising Coronavirus cases. The domestic season for 2020-21 is set to begin with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but it will be played without the fans.
However, the new guidelines from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is set to delight the fans as the government has decided to allow 50% of the spectators in the stadium from now on. This is a great news especially for the BCCI as the board is planning to organise the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India only.
Moreover, England is set to tour India before the IPL for a full-fledged tour and the matches will be played in Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad and the crowds may return for this series as well. However, according to the latest set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Sports Ministry, the tournament organising committees has to set up a COVID-19 task force to keep an eye on the proceedings.
According to Insidesport, the IPL Governing Council and the BCCI will have to follow below guidelines to allow fans back to stadiums:
1) The spectators at the sporting event would be in accordance with the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs vide its letter No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A); dated 25th November 2020 [Para 9 clause (v}) or as amended from time to time.
2) For outdoor events, spectators will be allowed upto a maximum of 50% of the total capacity of the stadium
3) CCTV monitoring should be planned for events to detect over-crowding at entry & exit gates and seating arena.
Permission needed from local authorities
Although the government has given the permission for fans’ entry in the stadiums, the tournament organisers, BCCI in the case of IPL, will have to take prior permission from the local authorities for the same. These norms will also apply to the upcoming England tour of India where the two teams are set to face each other for 4 Tests, 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs.