India news: Fans to be allowed in for second Sri Lanka Test

India will play their first Test of the series against Sri Lanka in Mohali behind closed doors but the second will allow spectators.

The M Chinnaswamy Stadium will be allowed to open its gates to a 50 per cent capacity crowd.

This means that there could be 20,000 spectators present on all five days of the Test match.

A Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) office-bearer reportedly told ESPNcricinfo that they had been given permission to allow fans in for the Test match in Bengaluru.

According to local sources, ticket sales have already begun for the second Test scheduled to take place between 12 and 16 March.

Meanwhile, a PTI report claimed that BCCI “won’t be allowing any spectators” in for the Test match at the 25,000 capacity Inderjit Singh Bindra Stadium in Mohali.

Mohali has experienced high COVID-19 infection rates and the BCCI are wary of placing the Indian Premier League in jeopardy by allowing spectators into the ground.

The Punjab Cricket Association are disappointed that they won’t be able to sell tickets for the first international match at the venue in three years, but accept the BCCI call.

An official agreed that playing the match behind closed doors was a wise decision.

“Yes, apart from the people, who are on duty for the Test match, we are not allowing any general spectators as per the directive of BCCI,” Punjab Cricket Association treasurer RP Singla was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Still there are fresh Covid cases emerging in and around Mohali, so it’s better we take all safety protocols.

“Obviously, the fans miss out because an international match at Mohali is happening after almost three years.”

India won the Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka and will shift to the ultimate format when the first Test gets underway on 4 March 2022.

The series will form a part of the World Test Championship being the hosts fourth of the cycle and the second for Sri Lanka who have won both of their WTC matches.

Sri Lanka currently top the standings which are determined by the percentage of points teams take home relative to their maximum possible haul.

Virat Kohli has played 99 Tests for India and could bring up his hundred in this series.