Reports: BCCI to allow fans in Motera for 3rd England Test; PM Modi invited

The Motera Stadium hosted matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021

BCCI will reportedly allow fans to attend the 3rd India vs England Test at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The third match of the four-Test series will begin on February 24. 

It means that the third Test against England will be the first time spectators will be allowed inside a stadium in India for an international game since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

A BCCI source speaking to Indian Express disclosed the board’s grand plans for the pink-ball Test between India and England.

“As the seating capacity is more than a lakh, the GCA can easily accommodate 50 per cent crowds for the third and fourth Tests. The Government has allowed sports stadiums to run with 50 per cent capacity so it has been decided to allow fans for the matches in Ahmedabad. The media will also be able to cover the game from the stadium.”

The 3rd India vs England Test will be the first international fixture played at the new stadium. With a capacity of 1,10,000, the Motera Stadium is the largest cricket stadium in the world.

It has been learnt that several dignitaries will be invited for the first of the two Motera Tests.

Indian Express mentioned that the BCCI has already extended invitations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J P Nadda and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) president, is likely to be attendance as well.

While the pink-ball Test with England might be a momentous occasion for Indian cricket, there is no confirmation on whether fans will be allowed for the first two Tests in Chennai.

Although an earlier announcement confirmed that spectators won’t be attending the first two India vs England games, the revised COVID-19 guidelines have made the entry of fans a possibility.

Multiple media reports on Sunday suggested that the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is open to the possibility of having fans back in the stands for the second Test.

However, TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy speaking to the Times of India, admitted that the final call rests with the BCCI. 

“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.”

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