Ever since the COVID-19 began exploding worldwide, the sport has hardly remained the same. The cricketing events did resume last year after a lengthy break; however, it all took place without crowds. While the matches in Australia allowed the spectators within the stadium, India had not experienced anything as such, let alone have any cricket since March 2020. However, the upcoming home series against England will witness the return of the crowds.
The 2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy would be the first instance of professional cricket in India but without crowds. Nevertheless, the new guidelines from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports are favourable for the fans as it allows 50% of them into the stadium. Thus, it is delightful not only for the marquee series of India vs England and IPL 2021, which the BCCI wants to stage in India.
According to Insidesport, the IPL Governing Council and BCCI have to adhere to the below guidelines from Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for allowing the fans within the stadium:
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.
Protocols to apply for India’s home series against England and permission from local authorities required:
While the government has given the green signal for the fans to come within the stadium, the BCCI has to obtain permission from the local authorities for the same. The norms would not only be applicable for IPL 2021 but also England’s full-fledged tour of India. The Englishmen will play four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs from February.