India and England will play the very first international match on the newly built Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium/ Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. For those who don’t know about this stadium, it is the largest cricket stadium in the world with a seating capacity of 1,10,000. It was first opened for the Doland Trump’s event Namaste Trump back in February 2020. The stadium was at its full capacity for that event, something that Trump seemed to have enjoyed a lot.
The third test between India and England would be the second event of such stature and the first for what it was built. The players of both teams have been training at the ground for a couple of days and they seem to be in awe of the humongous stadium.
Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Stuard Broad and many others took to Twitter to post about the beauty and spectre of the biggest cricket stadium in the world.
Will spectators be allowed?
Kohli was critical of a lack of crowd in the first test that India embarrassingly lost. He said that it felt odd playing a home game without a crowd. He also credited the spectators for their emphatic win in the second test, the first game after lockdown when the crowd was allowed in a stadium. This is why the 3rd test is even more special as 50% crowd is allowed for the test and all tickets are sold out. A 50% crowd at any other venue would have been a small number but this stadium has a capacity of more than a Lakh so you do the math.
More than 50,000 people attending a cricket match for the first time since COVID-19 would certainly be a sight to behold. This test would also be very critical for both the teams as it could decide the fate of India, England and the Australia team in the ongoing World Test Championship. India needs to win the series by 2-1 in order to advance whereas a 2-1 win by England would cement their position in the final against New Zealand. Interestingly a draw would hand over the final berth to Australia.
COVID cases have been on a steep decline in India but new cases have started to rise up in Maharastra due to schools and colleges being allowed to open. Though Ahmedabad has not seen a rise in cases, an event like this could sadly turn out to be a bad decision. The stadium staff has their work cut out and would need to be extra strict so that social distancing protocols are followed.