Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced relaxation related to coronavirus lockdown including permitting fans to attend sports events inside stadiums with 50 per cent capacity. The eyes are now trained firmly on the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and the BCCI whether they will change their stance over allowing fans to attend the upcoming two Tests between India and England scheduled to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai next month.Also Read - Omicron in Community Transmission Stage in India, Dominant Strain in Metro Cities, Confirms Govt Body

Chennai will host the first Test starting February 5 while the second gets underway from February 13. However, TNCA has maintained that fans will not be allowed to attend the matches with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also expressing reservations. Also Read - Are Cloth Masks Really Helpful? Health Experts Answer

TNCA Seceretary RS Ramasaamy had earlier said that considering the current coronavirus situation, the BCCI isn’t willing to take any risk citing the safety of players and officials in mind. “In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk with the safety of the players during the forthcoming India-England Test series. The players, officials will be undergoing strict quarantine and several rounds of COVID-19 tests before entering the bio-bubble,” Ramasaamy wrote in a circular. Also Read - Yoga Tips: 6 Asanas to Recover From Covid 19 And Build Immunity

“As per BCCI directive, the first two Tests between February 5-17 being held at MA Chidambaram Stadium will take place behind closed doors. TNCA will not be issuing tickets or sub-committee badges,” it added.

India will take on England in a four-match Test series with the first two matches in Chennai while the remaining two to be played at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium. The Tests will be followed by five T20Is – all to be played in Ahmedabad and three ODIs to be played in Pune.

England will thus become the first international team to visit India since the coronavirus outbreak in March last year. While competitive events have resumed in the country, fans are still not allowed to be at the venues.