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Cricket:Pakistan to allow vaccinated spectators to attend NZ series

Pakistan will allow spectators who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend their home limited-overs series against New Zealand starting next month, the country's cricket board said on Monday.

The grounds will be full to 25per cent capacity. New Zealand will arrive in Islamabad on Sept. 11 with Rawalpindi hosting three one-dayers before five Twenty20 Internationals in Lahore.

"Only spectators who are fully vaccinated and have Immunisation Certificate for Covid-19 will be allowed entry inside the stadia," the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement.

The Pindi Cricket Stadium will be able to welcome 4,500 spectators for the 50-overs format while the Gaddafi Stadium can have a crowd of around 5,500 for the T20 matches following approval from the National Command and Operations Centre, a military run body that oversees COVID-19 operations in Pakistan.

"I am sure following the NCOC decision, the unvaccinated cricket followers will expedite their vaccination process so that they can witness the first series on home soil between the two sides since 2003," PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.

Pakistan has reported about 1.16 million cases of COVID-19 with over 25,600 deaths, according to government data.

International cricket returned to Pakistan in 2019 after opposing teams had refused to travel following a militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.

The country has since hosted South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: Reuters

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