English fans will be getting to watch international cricket after 12 months during the test series against New Zealand. The second game of the two-match test series of New Zealand’s tour of England at Edgbaston will have 18,000 fans each day after being selected as the first of the Government’s latest pilot events.
Under present guidelines, smaller outdoor venues are only permitted to be at 25 percent capacity, but the stadium will be 70 percent full for the second Test when the three lions take on Black Caps between June 10 and June 14. The pilot event will have fans following all COVID-19 protocols and the programme will be used to collect information on the risk of transmission of coronavirus at mass participation events.
To enter the stadium each ticket holder must present a negative COVID-19 result from an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, completed within 24 hours in advance of the day they are attending, and give consent to take part in the programme.
Contrary to the first test at Lords all ticket holders must be aged 16 or over. The match at Lords is not part of the pilot programme and MCC has decided to prioritise those who purchased junior tickets to ensure a youthful crowd during half-term. The process has been agreed upon by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and supported by Public Health England, the England & Wales Cricket Board, Birmingham City Council, and Edgbaston’s own Safety Advisory Group.
After the test series against England, New Zealand will face India at Ageas Bowl in the final of the inaugural edition ICC Men’s World Test Championship between 18-22 June. Previously, it has been suggested that fans will be allowed for the WTC final in some capacity. England will also face India in a five-match test series later in the summer. As the summer goes on, English cricket fans are likely to get the taste of international cricket in stadiums across England.