Ind vs Eng 1st T20I: Social distancing goes for toss; thousands flock to Narendra Modi stadium

Ind vs Eng 1st T20I: Social distancing goes for toss; thousands flock to Narendra Modi stadium
Ind vs Eng 1st T20I: Social distancing goes for toss; thousands flock to Narendra Modi stadium

Ind vs Eng 1st T20I: As thousands flocked to the revamped Narendra Modi Stadium for India’s 1st T20I match against England, social distancing and mandatory face-covering went for a toss. Thousands were seen without a mask during the match, triggering the fears of a super-spreader event in the midst of a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

With authorities slowly opening up stadiums for a limited number of crowd, India’s 3rd and 4th Test matches against England at the same Motera stadium allowed a limited number of people. However, with the size of the crowd being small, it did not seem to be a problem.

But as T20 matches attract a large crowd, despite the Gujarat Cricket Association allotting only 50% of the tickets (of stadium capacity), the stadium attendance increased significantly. However, with GCA keeping a portion of the stands closed to the crowd, they were seen congregating. It could have been avoided had the entire stadium been open to crowd. That way, maintaining social distancing could have been easier.

Also read: IND vs ENG 1st T20 Live Score

On Friday, Gujarat recorded 710 new cases of COVID-19, a steady increase over the last seven days. Such large gatherings without proper could become problematic considering India will play four more T20I matches at the same venue. Earlier, three ODI matches against England in Pune were allowed with closed doors.

In the match, India were off to a poor start. After sent to bat, India lost opener KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli inside the first four overs. India’s ace opener Rohit Sharma has been rested for the first two T20Is with Shikhar Dhawan retaining his place.

Earlier, on Thursday, Virat Kohli in the press conference said, Rohit Sharma’s opening partner will be Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan will be with the squad as a third opener.

“We cannot accommodate all three openers in the playing XI. Out of Dhawan and Rahul, only one will find a place in the XI. KL (Rahul) and Rohit (Sharma) have been consistent performers. Those two will start,” Virat Kohli said at a virtual press-conference on Thursday.