Fans will return to stadiums for the upcoming India-Australia series, Cricket Australia (CA) officially confirmed on Tuesday. CA has also informed that ticket prices will remain unchanged, with the entry level being fixed at AUS $30. The Australian cricket authorities’ decision will see fans returning to cricket venues after a gap of almost 10 months.
As per the CA, attendances would be pretty decent across venues, with the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Adelaide Oval holding 50 per cent of their total capacity, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) around 25,000 spectators per day for the Boxing Day Test. The Gabba at Brisbane will host crowds 75 per cent of its total capacity. Seating capacities at the SCG, Adelaide Oval and Gabba are 48,000, 53,500 and 42,000 respectively.
Australia has seen the number of Coronavirus cases down to a trickle with Victoria, a previous hotspot, recording 11 consecutive days with no new cases or deaths. New South Wales also reported three days of no locally acquired cases. On November 1, Australia had seen its first day since June 9 when no fresh cases were reported, an Associated Press report said.
“Venue capacities will continue to vary by market depending on government allowances and in line with the approved COVIDSafe plans,” stated the CA press release.
It added: “The SCG, which is set to host ODI and T20 International matches and the Vodafone Pink Test this summer, will hold 50 per cent of total capacity, as will Canberra’s Manuka Oval for their ODI and T20 International matches and the Adelaide Oval for historic Day-Night Test match starting December 17.
“At this stage, the Boxing Day Test is set to hold at least 25 per cent of total capacity across Public, Member and Corporate tickets, equating to 25,000 fans each day of the Test. The Gabba is set to host crowds at 75 per cent of venue capacity for the fourth and final Test of the Vodafone Series, starting on January 15, 2021.”
Following the Covid-forced lockdown, when international cricket resumed in July via the England versus West Indies series, matches were held behind closed doors. England also hosted Pakistan and Australia in front of empty stands. The Indian Premier League (IPL), too, was played behind closed doors, as also the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Pakistan-Zimbabwe series. Earlier this year, when Australia had hosted New Zealand for an ODI series, fans were shut out.
India will play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests in Australia, with the first ODI at SCG is scheduled on November 27. And according to a CA functionary, “a very good response” is expected from the match-goers.
With regards to ticket prices, CA stated: “In a major boost for Australian and Indian cricket fans, there will be no increase in ticket prices for the Dettol One Day International Series matches, Dettol T20 International Series matches and Vodafone Test Series matches, compared to the 2018-19 India tour of Australia.
“Entry level ticket prices remain at $30 for adults for the fifth year straight, while Cricket Australia’s Premium ticket prices have been held, the same as the last Indian tour in 2018-19.”
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