India vs England: BCCI, TNCA agree to host first two Tests behind closed doors

India vs England: BCCI, TNCA agree to host first two Tests behind closed doors

R Ramaswamy, the TNCA Secretary, informed the association's members about their call on Wednesday, January 20.

Chepauk Stadium
Chepauk Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The upcoming Test series against England is set to mark the return of international cricket in India. The series consists of four games with the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, and Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad being the hosts for the matches. The Indian government has already permitted the venues to have a 50 per cent crowd capacity.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t wish to be reluctant by any means. The BCCI, in talks with the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), has decided to conduct the first two Test matches behind closed doors. Bearing in mind the players’ health, the TNCA and the BCCI took the joint call.

BCCI not ready to take a risk

R Ramaswamy, the TNCA Secretary, informed the association’s members about their call on Wednesday, January 20. Ramaswamy, in a circular, stated that the top officials weren’t ready to put the players at risk.

“In view of the prevailing Covid pandemic, BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk with the safety of the players during the forthcoming India-England Test series. As per BCCI directive, the first two Test matches will take place behind closed doors (No Spectators/Guests/Sub-Committee Members) as a preventive measure,” Ramaswamy was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.

The sources added the Gujarat Cricket Association aimed for a 20 to 30 per cent capacity crowd at the newly built Motera Stadium. However, the authorities are yet to take a decision on the matter. Both India and England would be reaching Chennai on January 27 and would start training after a three-day quarantine.

It’s also India’s last outing in the ICC World Test championship before the finals in June. The home team has to garner a victory in order to cement their berth in the final. At the present point in time, India hold the top position with 71.1 per cent points.

New Zealand and Australia are third and fourth in the list with England at number four, having 65.2 per cent points. India are currently brimming with confidence after their 2-1 victory in the Test series against Australia after wins in Melbourne and Brisbane.