PAK vs NZ: Crowds allowed up to 25% capacity during limited-over series as PCB obtain NCOC's approval

PAK vs NZ: Crowds allowed up to 25% capacity during limited-over series as PCB obtain NCOC’s approval

Pakistan and New Zealand will be playing three ODIs and five T20Is in September 2021.

Pakistan fans cheer during ICC World Cup 2019. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday (August 30), announced that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has approved 25 per cent crowd attendance for the upcoming limited-overs series between Pakistan and New Zealand, which gets underway from September 21.

As a result, around 4,500 spectators will be able to attend the ODIs scheduled on 17, 19 and 21 September at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, while approximately 5,500 spectators will be able to attend the T20Is scheduled on September 25, 26, 29, and October 1 and 3 at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Keeping in mind the current situation, the NCOC has mandated that only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to enter inside the venues, and they must produce the Immunization Certificate for Covid-19 to gain entry.

Incidentally, this is New Zealand’s first tour of Pakistan since 2003. However, the clash of the series with the second leg of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League means that notable players including the likes of Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Seifert, James Neesham, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner, and Lockie Ferguson will be missing from the New Zealand ranks.

Opportunity for spectators to enjoy and back the players from either side: PCB Chief

Speaking about the comeback of crowds in the stadiums, PCB Chief Wasim Khan said: “Spectators are the essence of any sport event as they create an ambiance and atmosphere for the players to excel, perform and enjoy. In this background, we are grateful to the NCOC for allowing the PCB to invite 25 per cent crowds for the eight matches.”

“I am sure following the NCOC decision, the un vaccinated cricket followers will expedite their vaccination process so that they can witness the first series on home soil between the two sides since 2003,” Khan was quoted as saying by DND.com.

“This will be an opportunity for the spectators to not only enjoy some quality cricket in the season-opening series but also support and back players from either side as the ODIs count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, while the T20Is will lead into the ICC T20 World Cup,” he added.