The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has opted to raise crowd capacity from 20% to 50% for the remaining 14 preliminary round matches at the National Stadium, Karachi.
The decision has been taken after PCB received permission from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to increase spectators for all round-robin games and full attendance for the playoffs and the final.
However, the PCB has cautiously accepted the NCOC's suggestion as the board would first assess the situation in Karachi before implementing the same plan in Lahore, which hosts the last 14 matches this season.
“We are most grateful to the NCOC for allowing the PCB to allow up to 50 percent of spectators for all remaining preliminary round matches and up to 100% spectators for the play-offs and final," said PCB chief executive Wasim Khan.
“As a starting point, we have decided to immediately increase crowd attendances for all Karachi-leg matches to 50 percent. However, we will continue to assess how the crowds follow and implement the SOPs before we make a decision on crowd attendances for the Lahore-leg matches."
The current circumstances dictate that the National Stadium could be filled with up to 17,000 fans. Meanwhile, tickets for the matches at the Gaddafi Stadium continue to be available as per the initial agreement of the 20% capacity.
The state of Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan is relatively under control at the moment compared to other countries in the region.
The number of active cases in the country is just over 22,000 with the feared second wave of the pandemic not causing great damage as dreaded.
Khan asked fans to be mindful of the health and safety protocols to make the new arrangement a success without any grave consequences.
“As Chief Executive of the game’s governing body in Pakistan, it is my responsibility to urge and request all spectators attending the Karachi and Lahore-leg matches to come to the venues wearing masks, maintaining social distancing at all times and regularly using hand sanitisers," he said.