The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has allowed a limit of 20% spectators to attend the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 matches which will be played in Karachi and Lahore from 20 February to 22 March.

According to an announcement by NCOC, after detailed deliberations with health officials, it has been decided with strict guidelines already issued that 20% of spectators will be allowed for PSL group matches.

“Review for playoffs in march in view of prevailing positivity ratio at that time,” said the NCOC statement following a meeting with PCB officials.

The decision means around 7,500 ticketed spectators will be allowed access inside the National Stadium per match day, while around 5,500 will be able to attend each match day at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Fans will have to follow strict SOPs during their time at the stadium during PSL matches.

“They won’t be allowed to touch the ball, they won’t be able to bring food from outside, they will have to wear a mask and maintain social distance all the time,” said a PCB official while elaborating SOPs.

According to PCB, the NCOC and the PCB will continue to work together and monitor the situation before a decision to increase crowd numbers for the three playoffs and the final is made.

“The NCOC made the decision following a detailed and comprehensive briefing by the PCB officials, in which they assured that the event organisers and the PCB will strictly follow government Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, including social distancing,” said PCB in a separate statement.

PCB has further added that it will soon announce its ticketing policy to provide further clarity to the fans on how they can purchase tickets and the process to enter/exit the venues during the matches.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said that he was thankful to the NCOC for trusting the PCB and allowing limited fans to watch the live action of the Pakistan Super League 2021.

He said “fans are the PCB’s biggest asset and we are delighted that no matter a small number, but some will be able to have access to the matches. Their presence will add flavour and excitement to one of the biggest and most challenging leagues in the cricket calendar."