Cricket Article

UK Cancels Crowd Pilot Events

UK Cancels Crowd Pilot Events Photo: TT
UK cancels crowd pilot events

It is said that a week is a long time in politics. It appears to be even longer when it comes to the coronavirus.

Last weekend, fans were allowed back into sports grounds again after 1,000 people were allowed to attend a cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval. Spectators sat on alternate rows with a seat dividing them to encourage social distancing, and only two stands in the grounds were used.

And that was meant to be the prelude to a series of events meant to trial the eventual return of fans to sports grounds in larger numbers. A limited number of fans were going to be allowed to attend the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield each day, and up to 4,000 racegoers allowed to watch the Goodwood Flat Race meeting in Sussex.

And two more cricket matches in the Bob Willis Trophy between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval, and Warwickshire v Northamptonshire at Edgbaston - were also planning to allow a limited number of paying customers through the doors.

However, all those plans have now been cancelled, and further trials suspended until August 15th at the earliest.

It follows a rise in the number of victims contracting Covid-19 in the UK< with experts opining that the widely predicted second wave of the coronavirus may already have started.

Already a number of lockdown limitations which had been eased have been re-imposed, with people from different households in Greater Manchester, and parts of Yorkshire banned from meeting each other in the homes or gardens.

And with many parts of Europe now seeing their own transmission rates rise again including Belgium, Germany, and Spain the UK government has decided to reverse its policy for the time being at least.

It means that all events will be played behind closed doors and those fans who had bought tickets for this weekends events will have their money refunded.

Now a major doubt has been cast over the timetable that allowed for spectators to return to Premier League grounds again by October 1st.

It seems that hopes that the worst of the health crisis was over may have been premature.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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