The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday allowed a 50 percent attendance crowd for the first Test between India and Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to start on March 4 at PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The first Test against Sri Lanka will also be Virat Kohli’s 100th match in the longest format of the game. He will become the 12th Indian to play 100 Tests after Sachin Tendulkar (200), Rahul Dravid (163), VVS Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132), Kapil Dev (131), Sunil Gavaskar (125), Dilip Vengsarkar (116), Sourav Ganguly (113), Ishant Sharma (105), Harbhajan Singh (103), and Virender Sehwag (103).
So, the BCCI’s decision comes as welcome news for spectators who will have an opportunity to watch Kohli’s 100th Test from the stands. A section of fans had earlier expressed their disappointment on social media on not having the crowd for the match.
Notably, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) had confirmed last week that the 1st Test in Mohali will be played without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We got the communication from the BCCI about allowing of fans at 50% capacity for the first Test match between India and Sri Lanka at Mohali starting March 4. So far, we will allow the online sale of tickets from Wednesday onwards as it becomes crowded at the ticket counters at the stadium. Fans will be there to watch Virat Kohli play his 100th Test match and PCA will ensure that all Covid-19 protocols are followed,” RP Singla, treasurer, PCA, told the Indian Express.
Kohli, who made his Test debut against the West Indies at Kingston in 2011, has scored 7962 runs from 99 red-ball matches.