Coronavirus crisis: Surrey looking into hosting matches at Oval with reduced capacity

Surrey hope to stage cricket in front of a reduced-capacity crowd at The Oval at some stage this summer, chief executive Richard Gould has said.

The Oval has a capacity of seating 25,000 people. (Twitter Photo)

Surrey County Cricket Club is looking into the possibility of hosting matches at The Oval with a reduced capacity of around 6,000 fans when the COVID-19 shutdown ends, its chief executive Richard Gould has said.

The 25,500-capacity ground was set to host a test match between England and West Indies in June before the tour was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government gave elite sport the green light to return in June behind closed doors but the cricket season, which was suspended in March, will not return until July at the earliest.

“The 25% capacity is something we’ve been looking at… It may end up having to be lower than that,” Gould told the BBC.

“There is work ongoing but at a very gentle pace. One of the issues cricket has is we can only play in the summer. Therefore we’d like to understand possibilities of getting fans in later on in the summer.

“But we’re not going to do anything that doesn’t get full clearance. We’re not going to do anything other than follow government guidelines.”

British media have reported the England and Wales Cricket Board is looking at setting up ‘bio-secure’ venues at grounds with on-site hotels in Manchester and Southampton for Pakistan’s visit in August.

Cricket West Indies said they are in the final stages of discussions regarding a tour in July once the ECB’s plans for bio-secure venues receive government support. has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.
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