London, July 26 (IANS) Spectators returned to cricket stadium for the first time since March as they came to witness the friendly two-day match between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval on Sunday.
All cricket across the world came to a standstill in the third month of the year due to coronavirus pandemic and the sport returned earlier this month with #raisethebat series between England and West Indies. The series, however, is being played behind closed doors.
The friendly at the Oval is expected to host 1000 spectators over two days. The venue has a capacity to host 25,000 people but to follow strict social distancing protocols, limited numbers of fans have been allowed to attend the match.
The two teams will once again meet in the Bob Willis Trophy on Saturday, having not faced each other in the past two domestic seasons owing to Middlesex's relegation three years ago.
The fixtures of the Bob Willis Trophy were released on Friday with all 18 First-Class Counties (FCCs) set to be in action when the one-off red-ball competition begins on August 1.
The Bob Willis Trophy will hold first-class status, but is a separate competition from the County Championship, and will comprise three regionalised groups, consisting of six counties per group, said ECB in a media release.
The FCCs will play five group-stage matches - one against each county in their group - with the two group winners with the most points set to progress to a five-day final to be played at the Lord's.