The BCCI logo. (PTI)
The BCCI logo. (PTI)

England series to be played without crowds

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India's Apex Council meeting did not take a final decision on whether to stage Ranji Trophy.
By Rasesh Mandani, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:33 PM IST

Cricket in India for now will continue to be played in bio-secure bubbles and without crowds. It was discussed at the cricket board’s Apex Council meeting held virtually on Sunday and that is how the England tour of India is scheduled to begin on February 5 in Chennai. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the series will be finalised soon.

The England tour comprises a four-Test series from February 5, followed by five T20 internationals and three One-day Internationals.


There will be more cricket added to the truncated domestic schedule, which has started with the Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament. Whether it will be Ranji trophy or Vijay Hazare Trophy ODI tournament starting February hasn't been decided. The Indian board had called for a referendum from member associations to decide which format they were keen to stage.

Many state bodies were in favor of ODIs over four-day fixtures. “If the Ranji Trophy has to be held, it would have to take a break for IPL in April-May after which the knockout matches are held. So, it could be the Vijay Hazare for this year. The office-bearers will finalise soon after further consultations with state units,” a BCCI official said.

Any competition will be held on the lines of the ongoing Mushtaq Ali Trophy competition with 38 teams divided into six groups—five Elite groups of six teams each and one Plate division of eight teams with matches to be played in six bio-secure hubs.

There are plans to finally kick start domestic cricket for women in March. As far as the national team goes, Apex Council was informed that “talks are in progress with South Africa as well as the Sri Lankan boards for some fixtures at home for the Mithali Raj-led ODI team as well as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led T20 team”.


There is no breakthrough yet on BCCI’s talks with the government regarding tax relief for the 2021 T20 World Cup scheduled in India. It was reiterated in the meeting that BCCI would stage the world event by meeting tax liabilities even if the government does not provide a waiver for ICC events at home, or gives a partial exemption.

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