Fans allowed to attend Kohli's 100th Test: BCCI

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli attends the training session at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in NagpurAFP file photo

Indian superstar Virat Kohli's landmark 100th Test will be open to spectators in the north Indian city of Mohali, the country's cricket board said Tuesday.

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) had earlier decided to hold the first of the two Tests behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic but now the match starting Friday will allow a 50-percent capacity crowd.

"The first Test between India and Sri Lanka to be played at the Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali will not be held behind closed doors," Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said in a statement.

"The decision to allow spectators is one taken by the State Cricketing Associations and in the present circumstances, is based on various factors."

Kohli, who was recently succeeded by Rohit Sharma as India's all-format captain, will return for the Test series after taking a break from the recent three-match T20 international series that India whitewashed 3-0.

In this file photo taken on 23 November 2019 India's captain Virat Kohli plays a shot during the second day of the second Test cricket match of a two-match series between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata
AFP file photo

The 33-year-old, who has amassed 7,962 runs in 99 Tests since his debut in 2011, will become the 11th Indian to appear in 100 or more five-day matches.

"I am really looking forward to Virat Kohli's 100th Test and wish our champion cricketer the very best," said Shah. "This is an occasion for our fans to savour. May he continue to represent the country in many more matches to come."

PCA treasurer RP Singla told AFP that tickets will go online on Wednesday for the opening Test, with around 12,000 fans expected to attend the match each day.

"Fifty per cent seats will go on sale online from Wednesday and we have all the arrangements in place for bringing in spectators," said Singla.

The PCA stadium in Mohali can accomodate around 26,000 spectators and has been a popular Test venue.

The second Test, a day-night match in Bangalore, will also have limited spectators attending only the third pink-ball match that India will have played.