Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan's teams will play the final three T20Is without spectators. (BCCI)
Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan's teams will play the final three T20Is without spectators. (BCCI)

Remaining three T20Is between India and England to be played behind closed doors

  • The remaining three T20Is between India and England will be played behind closed doors as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2021 11:15 PM IST

The last three T20Is of the India-England series will be played in an empty Narendra Modi Stadium due to rising Covid-19 cases, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) said in a statement on Monday night. The third game will be played on Tuesday. The last two T20Is are on March 18 and 20.

"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in consultation with the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) has decided to conduct the final three T20Is against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium behind closed doors. The decision was arrived at following detailed discussions with the state and local health authorities," the BCCI said in an official release.

"The BCCI will continue to comply with all the regulations put in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus and will always put the health and safety of its fans and stakeholders at the top."

According to an official who did not want to be named, over 50,000 tickets were sold for the first T20I on March 12 and more than 65,000 tickets were sold for the second T20I on Sunday. This was in accordance with GCA’s initial decision to allow 50 per cent capacity in the 1,32,000-seater venue. But during both the matches social distancing went for a toss as many spectators were seen without masks.

“Due to rise in the number of Corona cases, we at GCA have decided, in consultation with BCCI, the matches will be played (behind) closed doors and spectators won’t be allowed in the ground during T20 Internationals to be played between India and England at Ahmedabad,” Dhanraj Nathwani, GCA vice-president said.

“We will form the policy for refund of money to the spectators who have already purchased the tickets for these three T20s. Those who have received complimentary tickets are requested not to visit the stadium.”

This comes days after it was decided the ODI series (starting on March 23 in Pune) would be played without spectators. Spectators were allowed only from the second Test in Chennai, which was held from February 13-17. The third and fourth Tests in Ahmedabad also saw fans attend in large numbers.

An England team spokesman said: “Aside from meaning there will be considerably less noise in the stadium it doesn’t materially affect us as we remain in our bubble; and even when crowds were in attendance, we never came into contact with any of them, and the ball was sanitised whenever it was hit into the stands."

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