West Bengal government allows 75% attendance for India-West Indies T20Is

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West Bengal government allows 75% attendance for India-West Indies T20Is

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NewsThe ODI leg of the series, scheduled for Ahmedabad, will be played behind closed doorsEden Gardens last hosted a T20I in November, against New Zea

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The ODI leg of the series, scheduled for Ahmedabad, will be played behind closed doors

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Eden Gardens last hosted a T20I in November, against New Zealand  Getty Images

The West Bengal government on Monday announced that it would allow spectators at 75% stadium capacity for the upcoming three-match T20I series against West Indies, to be played at Eden Gardens, beginning February 16. The three ODIs, which will precede the T20Is, will, however, be played behind closed doors in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Cricket Association said in a tweet on Tuesday*.

As per a West Bengal state government notification issued on Monday, “all indoor and outdoor sports activities will be allowed with 75 per cent of the capacity of the venue”, which means a crowd of around 50,000 can be expected.

Kolkata had also hosted the third T20I against New Zealand last November, with 70% capacity.

“We are thankful to the honourable Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, chief secretary and Government of West Bengal for announcing resumption of sporting activities as well as for allowing 75 per cent of the capacity of spectators back to the stadium,” CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said in a statement.

“We feel that it will give a fresh lease of life to the sports persons of the state.

“After the New Zealand T20I last year, this time too, CAB is confident that it will be able to successfully host the three T20Is against the West Indies in a similar manner.”

According to the original schedule, West Indies were slated to play three ODIs in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kolkata and three T20Is in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram. However, following a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country in the last month, the BCCI decided to hold the white-ball series in just two venues – Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

Even though the West Bengal government has decided to allow spectators for the matches, the same is not the case with Ahmedabad, where the ODIs will be played on February 6, 9 and 11. “Considering the current situation, all the matches will be played behind the closed doors,” the state cricket association said in a tweet.

CAB is also looking forward to resuming local cricket tournaments at the earliest following Covid-19 protocols, having taken steps to vaccinate all the players above the age of 15 years who would be participating in the CAB leagues.

* This story was updated following the Gujarat Cricket Association’s tweet on February 1.

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