Fans made their way back to an Indian cricket stadium after almost a year on Day 1 of the second Test between India and England, at the MA Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai, on Saturday.
With international cricket returning to India, the second Test of the four-match series is the first time that fans have been allowed to attend, considering the ever-improving COVID-19 situation in the country.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association announced protocols for allowing the entry of 15,000 fans for the match, which included not allowing anyone who shows symptoms of Covid-19.
Rohit Sharma provided fans plenty of entertainment in the morning session as he stroked his way to a brilliant 80 not out from 78 balls, hitting 13 fours and a six, even as England reduced India to 106 for 3 at lunch on the opening day.
Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli perished without scoring, while Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips off Jack Leach for 21.
“Delectable drive from @ImRo45. Applause from #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli. A loud cheer from the Chepauk crowd,” tweeted BCCI.
Former India players VVS Laxman and Wasim Jaffer welcomed the return of spectators to the stadium.
“Glad Fans are back in the stadium for the 2nd #IndvEng test in Chennai. They are the biggest stakeholders and an integral part of our sport and I expect them to make a massive difference. Good toss to win for India and hope they make it count by scoring big in the 1st innings,” Laxman tweeted.
“Very happy to see fans back at the Chepauk. The fans are the heartbeat of our sport. Indian cricket wouldn’t be as big as it is today if not for the constant support of passionate fans. #INDvsENG,” said Jaffer.
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