Edgbaston to allow 80 percent capacity for England-Pakistan ODI
28 Jun, 2021
The third ODI between England and Pakistan, which will be played at Edgbaston next month, will have an 80 percent capacity crowd as the government prepares to return towards full stadiums.
The match which will be day-night affair, will be played in front of a 19,000 crowd, which would make it the highest in terms of spectators in the field in UK since the start of COVID-19 pandemic.
The development comes after 70 percent of capacity crowds were allowed at the Edgbaston for the second Test match between England and New Zealand. "It's fantastic for sport in the West Midlands that so many cricket fans will be able to enjoy another blockbuster fixture in England versus Pakistan at Edgbaston," Stuart Cain, Warwickshire's chief executive said [as quoted by Cricinfo]. "The recent Test match gave us a fantastic opportunity to build a new model for large scale sporting events and I'm pleased to see elements of this first trial being carried forward for the Pakistan match.
"Technology played a big part in this and we will again focus on using this as a way of creating a safe environment whilst enhancing Edgbaston's reputation as one of the best atmospheres in world cricket."
The reputation took bit of toll when there was a massive pitch invasion at the end of Birmingham Bear's defeat to Derbyshire in the T20 Vitality Blast.
Cain termed the scenes as ‘disgraceful’, adding that the club would ban those responsible for a serious violation. To secure their attendances for the Pakistan ODI, spectators aged 11 or older will be required to show a negative Covid lateral flow test result, or proof of two vaccinations (first and second dose) at least 14 days before the fixture.
Pakistan’s Head Coach Misbahul Haq believes that rookier pacer Shahnawaz Dahani has a bright future ahead of him.
While speaking during a virtual press conference on Sunday, Misbah said that Dahani, who was the top wicket-taker in HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six, was not part of the England tour because the team was announced before the conclusion of Pakistan’s premier T20 league.
“Shahnawaz Dahani is a future prospect for Pakistan cricket. He was part of red-ball squad in Zimbabwe.
The team was announced 20 days before so he was not part of white-ball cricket but he is included in squad for West Indies Tests. He isn’t with us for England tour but will consider him, especially after being the top wicket-taker in white-ball cricket, as it seems that he has bright future ahead of him,” said Misbah.
Misbah also refrained from commenting on Younis Khan’s resignation as batting coach but admitted that the latter’s presence helped the younger players in the side.
“Look, I don’t want to comment on that. His [Younis Khan] experience was always good for these young players. This is all decided between the PCB and the coach but we now have to live with that and focus on the resources we have,” he said.
The 47-year-old also talked about Pakistan’s team combination ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.
“Overall, I think we know the team [which will play T20 World Cup] apart from the middle-order and specifically position five and six. We have included Azam Khan and Sohaib Maqsood in the side and hopefully the next two series will help us fill this gap,” he said. “Our top four batsman and bowling lineup is more of less confirmed.”
All Pakistan team members and support staff have returned negative tests for Covid-19 after touching down in England.
The team is in Derby and underwent coronavirus testing on the day of arrival. All squad members will commence training on June 28 contingent upon the result of the second round of testing.
Pakistan team members are currently in isolation and completing the mandatory quarantine period before they start practising for the much-awaited series. The second round of Covid testing will be conducted later today.
After completing the mandatory isolation period, the players will partake in two practice intra-squad matches at Derby. After the practice games, the team will head to Cardiff on July 6 and then the first ODI will be up and running on July 8.
Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam is confident to carry winning momentum against England. Babar said he tries to keep calm and maintain his composure while calling the shots. He said the support from his teammates makes the leadership role easier for him. Also, he said complacency cannot be the order of the day.
"The English team will not be an easy opponent on their home ground. This is a good opportunity for World Cup preparation. The world's top ODI batsman said that the middle order is stronger with the inclusion of Haris Sohil and Saud Shakil to the squad.
"Living in a bio-secure bubble is difficult but we have adjusted ourselves to it now. Being Pakistan's captain is an honour for me. I am achieving goals I had set for myself," Babar added.
Pakistan has won 32 ODIs and England won 53 so far and in T20Is, Pakistan was victorious on four occasions whereas England won 11 shortest format games. The last ODI between these two teams was played in June 2019 in the ICC World Cup and Pakistan won that contest narrowly.
In this file photo, Imad Wasim celebrates the wicket of England's Johnny Bairstow with teammates. — Reuters/File
LONDON: The One-day International between England and Pakistan on July 10 was approved on Friday for a full capacity crowd of 31,100 at Lords.
It joins other sporting events such as Wimbledon and the European Championship in a British government research program studying the effects of fan attendance as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
Wimbledon opened at 50% capacity across the All England Club and will be allowed to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals on July 10-11.
Wembley Stadium is expected to host at least 60,000 fans for the upcoming European Championship semi-finals and finals.
Lord’s was permitted to host fans last month for England’s Test against New Zealand, beginning at 25% capacity.
Ticket-holders for the ODI must show proof of either full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. They can also be admitted with proof of immunity from a positive test in the past six months though not in the previous 10 days.
The Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord’s, said on Friday it confirmed receiving government permission for full capacity at the home of cricket.
“In addition to being at full capacity, the Covid restrictions will be disapplied to Lords during this match, but risk-mitigation measures will still be in place including test and trace, hand sanitisation and face coverings worn when moving around the ground,” the MCC said.
MCC chief executive Guy Lavender added: “To have England men’s first ODI at the home of cricket in almost two years and in front of a capacity crowd, will be truly memorable.”
Organisers confirmed full capacity is 31,100 following the recent addition of new seating.
A widespread return of fans has raised concerns in some places. Nearly 1,300 Scotland fans who travelled to London to watch their team play England on 18 June in Euro 2020 later tested positive for the coronavirus. Finnish health authorities also detected a spike in cases traced to fans returning from neighboring Russia following Euro 2020 matches in St Petersburg.