Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar opened up on BCCI’s decision to hold Virat Kohli’s 100th Test behind closed doors, saying it was disappointing to have no crowd in Mohali, but the board took the step in greater interest as Covid-19 cases around the Punjab city have increased.
Kohli will be playing his 100th Test when India take on Sri Lanka at the PCA Stadium in Mohali from March 5. There is a lot of expectations about the star batter’s milestone match but the decision to not have crowd at the PCA Stadium has not gone down well with a section of cricket fans.
PCA treasurer RP Singla on Saturday confirmed that fans won’t be allowed to watch the first Test against Sri Lanka from the iconic stadium in Mohali. Singla said the decision has been taken in accordance with a directive from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“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,” Sunil Gavaskar told Sports Today.
While the decision not to allow fans to curb the risk of Covid-19 infection has been the norm in the recent past, fans have questioned it, citing that the ongoing T20I series is being played with spectators in Dharamsala.
Notably, Ahmedabad did not allow crowds for the ODI series against West Indies earlier this month, but the Eden Gardens in Kolkata had fans, albeit in a reduced capacity, for the final match of the series.
Meanwhile, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru that will host the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka also confirmed 50 percent capacity.