Around 18,000 fans will be allowed in each of the five days of the second Test between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston. Under current guidelines, smaller outdoor venues can only allow 25 percent crowd but the second Test of England – New Zealand series will see the ground filled up to its 70 percent capacity. The decision was taken under the government’s event research programme which is aimed to understand the pros and cons of mass gathering.
According to government protocols, the ticket holder must present a negative COVID-19 report of not more than 24 hours old. All individuals should be over 16 years of age and must submit their consent for participating in the programme.
“Having crowds back into cricket grounds is so important for the game and for our fans too,” said England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison.
“The last 15 months have shown just how big a role cricket plays in many people’s lives, and we cannot wait to welcome a growing number of fans back to our stadia over the coming months.”
England’s 2020 summer was played behind closed doors which took a toll on ECB’s revenue. The board is now keen to get the fans back in the stadium. A successful vaccine campaign has significantly curbed the spread of the COVID-19 virus in England which has helped the government to ease out the restrictions. The government is hoping to lift the remaining restrictions on June 21 but they are concerned about a new Indian variant of the virus in the country.
England have a packed summer ahead, with limited over series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan along with seven Tests against New Zealand and India.
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