Coronavirus: Surrey vs Middlesex sees fans return to sport for the first time in England | Cricket News

0
129




1:37


Sky News correspondent Sadiya Chowdhury reports from The Oval where 1,000 fans are watching Surrey’s friendly against Middlesex as the crowds return to live sport amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News correspondent Sadiya Chowdhury reports from The Oval where 1,000 fans are watching Surrey’s friendly against Middlesex as the crowds return to live sport amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Returning spectators to sporting events took a step forward with 1,000 supporters attending the Surrey friendly against Middlesex on Sunday.

The two-day match at the Kia Oval is the first time fans can attend a live sporting event in England after the coronavirus pandemic forced a ban on mass gatherings and suspension from all sports in March.

Social distance of spectators during the friendly Surrey-Middlesex

Social distance of spectators during the friendly Surrey-Middlesex

Spectators wearing face masks use hand sanitizer when they arrive for the game

Spectators wearing face masks use hand sanitizer when they arrive for the game

The match is one of many pilot events aimed at reintroducing crowds as the UK government outlined next steps to ease lockdown restrictions last week.

The upcoming World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and the Glorious Goodwood Horse Racing Festival are expected to be among the other pilot events.

If successful, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping there could be a wider reopening for the crowds to return from October.

1:28
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the public can return to the stadiums from October subject to a successful pilot event.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the public can return to the stadiums from October subject to a successful pilot event.

The government said that “the events have been carefully selected to represent a range of sports and environments for indoor and outdoor spectators.”

When it was announced that cricket would host the first pilot event, the England and Wales Cricket Board said it would work with the government on the necessary security measures to ensure the public returned safely.

Participation in the pilot events is subject to a number of strict conditions with tickets to the 25,500-seat Oval reserved for members of both clubs only.

Careful group spacing to avoid violating social distancing guidelines is in place throughout while households separated by two clear seats to the left and right of them, and only each alternate row will be used.

0:35
Sky Sports cricket commentator Ian Bishop told Sky Sports News that fan feedback is important for all sports and especially for cricket.

Sky Sports cricket commentator Ian Bishop told Sky Sports News that fan feedback is important for all sports and especially for cricket.

Cashless payments for food and drink as well as hand sanitizing stations are also underway throughout the trial section of the field.

Only a few stands are planned for the trial, the areas closest to the pavilion being reserved for the two sets of players.

The match will be used as training before the cricket season from August 1, but a number of other sports, including football, will focus on the success of the event in terms of spectators.

Although the dates for the 2020/21 campaign were announced on Friday, neither the Premier League nor the EFL have set a date for fans to return to the stadiums – with friendly matches similar to cricket being discussed to see if the fans can return to the stadiums.

1000 spectators allowed to enter The Oval as part of the first try to bring fans back to the sport live

1000 spectators allowed to enter The Oval as part of the first try to bring fans back to the sport live

‘Test event a definite success’

Surrey general manager Richard Gould said the club received 10,000 calls for the 1,000 available places within an hour of tickets being made available to members.

Gould hailed the test event as a “definitive success” and expressed hope that the circumstances could be reproduced.

“I think it’s really important (for county cricket) because we haven’t had a crowd back on our pitches since September 2019 and maybe this will be a driver that brings more fans back in the coming weeks, ”he said.

Richard Gould, general manager of Surrey County Cricket Club, hailed the test event as a great success

Richard Gould, general manager of Surrey County Cricket Club, hailed the test event as a great success

“Our season ends in eight or nine weeks, so it’s a short season and it’s important that we don’t go a year and a half without having supporters on the pitch.

“It was a definite success. We will measure it on several levels, first of all the demand for tickets.

“We went to our members last week and got literally thousands of calls, people wanting to come back for what is a friendly match, normally we would have crowds a lot smaller than this one so get a thousand. of people desperate to come and more is definitely great news and so far the day is going well. ”

Gould hopes the experience can be repeated soon: “The sun is shining, cricket is on and the people look happy.

“I hope it won’t be a one-time event, I think it depends on how it goes.

“We have a lot of people here from the government and the security authorities and I think they are going to take a look and pass judgment and I hope that can speed things up if that goes well. “

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here