Life is gradually returning to Australia and sport is expected to pick up soon in the country after months of being on lockdown. Cricket, which is one of the country’s biggest sports, is expected to pick up soon and the country already has their first opponent as they are set to face India in a series of events that includes ODIs, T20s, and Test series.
While other cities in the country are still battling the virus and trying to get their numbers down, Melbourne is already showing positive signs. Following a sharp decline in coronavirus cases, the city came out of lockdown on Wednesday and life is already returning in the region. This has raised speculations that the city may allow spectators into the stadium for the second Test match against India which begins on December 26.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a hosting capacity of 100,000 people, is the venue of the Boxing Day Test and authorities are looking at a quarter capacity of the normal turnout. That means that 25,000 people are expected would be allowed every day into the stadium for the Test, which ends on December 30. The reduction in number is to keep in line with COVID-19 safety protocols, which include social distancing. So spectators at the stadium would sit 3 seats apart from each other or a similar kind of arrangement.
Martin Pakula, who is the sports minister for the state of Victoria, disclosed that consultations were being made with Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Cricket Ground to see how they could admit fans into the venue and keep the number capped at 25,000.
He said, “We’ve been really clear with Cricket Australia and the MCG that we’ll make final decisions about numbers closer to the day, depending on the epidemiological situation that abides at the time. At this stage, (25,000) is what we believe would be the safe and appropriate number per day here at the MCG.”
India would be in Australia from November up till January 2021 to play a series of events. They begin with 3 ODI Series, which starts on November 27. After that, they move to T20 Series, the first starting on December 4. Once that’s over, they then begin their 4-Test series. All events would take place in different cities around the country and no other city has made mention of allowing fans at the venue, besides Melbourne.
Written by: Leon Osamor