Eden Gardens to operate at 70% crowd capacity for India-New Zealand T20I match

The BCCI has not yet given its consent of welcoming fans to the venue but it seems only a matter of time before it gives it consent after a go-ahead from the state government.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 15 November 2021 2:32 pm

Even as the T20 World Cup is still on, there is some big news coming in with regard to India's home season. Immediately after the World Cup, the Indian team is set to host New Zealand and it is now being reported that the third and the final T20I, scheduled to take place on November 21 between the two countries at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata is likely to welcome fans capped at 70% crowd capacity.

The same is being anticipated after the West Bengal State government issued a directive that the stadium could be operated at 70% capacity. The directive came on Friday, October 29. Notably, Eden Gardens has not hosted an international fixture since 2019 which means this is a huge news for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

Eden Gardens, which was the venue for the T20 World Cup final between England and West Indies, can accommodate 68,000 people. This suggests that a 70% capacity would see somewhere around 47,000- 48,000 people in the stands. The last time an international match was played here was none other than the historic pink-ball Test match between India and Bangladesh in November 2019.

We are also hopeful that the BCCI too would accord its consent: CAB President

Despite the go-ahead from the West Bengal state government, the BCCI has not yet given its consent of welcoming fans at the venue. However, CAB President Avishek Dalmiya said that he was hopeful of the same.

"Now that the nod from the state government has been received, we are also hopeful that the BCCI too would accord its consent (for the 70 percent capacity),"Dalmiya was quoted as saying by Telegraph.

The wicket will have a firm bounce: CAB curator

Meanwhile, the pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee also said that they need to work in advance and keep the outfield ready as well as the surface match-ready.

"We’ve worked well in advance to keep the pitch and the outfield ready. The wicket will have a firm bounce, and it promises good cricket for sure. We’ll also get a fair idea from the women’s matches," Mukherjee added.

Incidentally, in the last international fixture hosted here, India's captain Virat Kohli scored a hundred after which he has not yet managed to breach the three-digits mark. Even as everyone would hope that he could put up a great show once India plays at this venue, Indian fans would want Kohli to score big even in the ongoing T20 World Cup where India find themselves with their back against the wall after a defeat against Pakistan in their opening match.