The second Test at Chepauk, which starts on Saturday, will be the first instance of fans being allowed for a sporting event in India since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year. And as England pacer James Anderson said on Tuesday, they are looking forward to the fans returning as long as all the necessary precautions are taken.
“Since the safety around our bubble at the hotel is so strict, I am sure they are going to take all the right precautions. We look forward to the fans coming in if it is done in a safe way,” Anderson said.
One of the concerns in these times is to do with the fact that fans will get their hands on the ball every time a six is hit and then return the ball to the field of play. But as Anderson mentioned, even during the first Test, the ball was sanitised whenever it was hit beyond the boundary.
“It is a very safe environment right now. I am sure that will continue for the next three Test matches,” the 38-year-old observed.
Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary RS Ramasaamy said that the ball will continue to be sanitised by the on-field umpires whenever it is returned from the stands.
“For the first Test, we had volunteers in all the stands who were returning the ball. Once the ball was returned, it was sanitised by the on-field umpires. The player who got his hand on the ball first was also sanitising his hand. That will continue,” Ramasaamy told TOI on Wednesday.
With only 50% crowd capacity permitted for this Test, fans will have to be seated in every alternate chair so that social distancing is maintained at all times. In order to ensure that all the protocols are followed, elaborate arrangements are in place.
“We will have volunteers checking whether all the protocols are being followed. If there is trouble, they will let us know and we will deal with it. We will also have a separate crew to monitor the CCTV footage. If they find any issue, they will inform the volunteer in that particular stand,” Ramasaamy informed.
In case anybody is found to be flouting rules, a warning will be given and a repeat will result in eviction from the stadium. Temperature checks and hand sanitising will be carried out at each of the 17 entrance points to the venue, while face masks are mandatory at all times.
What happens if somebody starts coughing and sneezing after entering the stadium?
“Five medical kiosks have been set up and there will be four ambulances at the ground. We have a medical room with a doctor and an isolation room too. If we find people coughing or sneezing after they enter the stadium, we will move them to an isolation room. We will make sure they get medical attention and are moved out,” the TNCA office-bearer said.