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SCG Test crowd capacity slashed




The third Test match between Australia and India will be played in front of less than 10,000 fans per day, on the advice of the New South Wales Government.


The crowd capacity was cut from 50% to 25% on Monday, approximately 9,500 people to attend each day of the Test match as coronavirus cases continue to emerge in New South Wales.


Cricket Australia's acting Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley said the reduction in crowd numbers was essential to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in, or attending, the Test.


"In response to the public health situation in NSW, we are working closely with Venues NSW and NSW Health to put appropriate biosecurity measures in place for our staff, players, match officials, broadcasters and fans to ensure we play the third Test at the SCG safely," Hockley said in a statement.


"Reducing the capacity of the venue is crucial in achieving social distancing requirements, and we sincerely thank ticketholders for their patience, as we process refunds today, reconfigure the SCG seating plan to deliver these social distancing measures and go back on sale.


"Tickets will be back on sale exclusively to those who have already bought a seat at 5pm (AEDT) on January 4, with remaining tickets released at midday (AEDT) on January 5.


"To date, we have been able to deliver a safe and successful summer of cricket thanks to our detailed biosecurity protocols, the cooperation and support of public health officials and the hard work of so many people behind the scenes."


The SCG hosted two ODIs and the first of two T20 Internationals between Australia and India men's team earlier in the summer, at which crowds of around 18,000 were permitted.


Those restrictions were then relaxed on NSW Government advice for the final T20I match in early December that drew a crowd of 30,436.


"There are extensive protocols being enacted for the upcoming Test, including increased cleaning, customer service and security staff, along with dedicated social distancing marshals," Chair of Venues NSW Tony Shepherd said today.


"The SCG is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government, which allows exhaustive record keeping and QR code check-in protocols that will ensure the safety of our fans.


"We have a very safe stadium and will be doing everything we can to deliver this event safely, as we have at our venues in NSW for the entire year."


The Australian and Indian squads are set to arrive in Sydney on Monday afternoon, ahead of the start of the Test match on Thursday.


IMAGE: The Statesman.