Second Test between ENG & NZ at Edgbaston to allow 18,000 fans on each day

Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May 2021 (19:26 IST)
Birmingham: As many as 18,000 fans will be allowed on each day of the second match of the upcoming Test series between England and New Zealand as part of the UK government's pilot project in a bid to gauge the risk of COVID-19 transmission at mass gatherings events.

The allowance of 18,000 spectators - which is 70 per cent of the Edgbaston stadium's capacity, is seen as a major step towards a return to normalcy in UK.
 
"Edgbaston's LV=Insurance Test match named as pilot event. We will be able to host around 18,000 spectators each day. Ticket holders will be contacted via email regarding the next steps," said Edgbaston ground administration on its twitter handle on Wednesday.
 
This will also be the first pilot event within the second phase of the government's Events Research Programme.
 
The aim of the project is to analyse the testing protocols, social distancing and face coverings when moving around the stadium. It is also an attempt to understand and gather further evidence on the risk of transmission at mass gatherings.
 
According to the government protocols, the ticket holders must present a negative COVID-19 result from an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, completed within 24 hours in advance of the day they are attending.
 
They also need to submit their consent to take part in the programme. All ticket holders should be aged 16 and over.
 
"Edgbaston is unique as a cricket venue in having such a large stadium footprint, but we also have a vastly experienced operational delivery team, which has hosted many major events and a spectator pilot last summer," said Stuart Cain, Chief Executive at Edgbaston.
 
"We have always been hopeful of featuring in the pilot programme and are delighted for the thousands of ticket holders who will now be able to attend," he added.
 
With England having played their entire 2020 home summer behind closed doors, the game will be the first home match since 2019 that England have played in front of something approaching normal conditions.
 
Meanwhile, the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord's, which is scheduled to be played from June 2 to 6, will be attended by 25 percent crowd capacity.
 
"The UK Government's roadmap for easing of Covid-related restrictions in England means that the Test match between England v New Zealand on 2-6 June will be limited to a reduced ground capacity of 25%. If you have purchased a ticket to this match, you will automatically receive a refund," said a statement from Lord's cricket ground administration. (UNI)