“The first Test between India and Sri Lanka to be played at the Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali will not be held behind closed doors. The decision to allow spectators into the ground is one taken by the State Cricketing Associations and in the present circumstances, is based on various factors. I have spoken with the PCA office bearers and they have confirmed that cricket fans will be able to witness the historic moment of Virat Kohli playing his 100th Test match,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
“While we started off the West Indies Tour of India behind closed doors, the encouraging dip in COVID-19 cases allowed the hosting associations to permit crowds. Based on the advisories by the State Health Authorities fans were able to witness the games in Kolkata and Dharamsala while UPCA had Lucknow T20I without crowds owing to polling a day before the match,” Shah said.
“I am really looking forward to Virat Kohli’s 100th Test and wish our champion cricketer the very best. This is an occasion for our fans to savour. May he continue to represent the country in many more matches to come,” the BCCI secretary said in his statement.
Earlier, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar had expressed his disappointment at the BCCI’s decision to play Kohli’s 100th Test in front of an empty stadium.
“Any game that you play, you want the crowd to be there. India has played without any crowds in recent times. Any performer, be it an actor, be it a cricketer, wants to play in front of the crowd. The 100th Test is very very special. Disappointing that there is going to be no crowd, but I think the decision has been taken in the greater interest. The cases have increased in and around Mohali, where the match is going to be played,” Gavaskar had told India Today.