India vs England ODI series in Pune will have no crowds

India vs England ODI series in Pune will have no crowds

The three-match ODI series will be played at MCA Stadium in Pune from March 23.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Just as the coronavirus pandemic’s threat was looking like going away, a sudden upsurge in the coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has again put restrictions on movement. On Saturday, it was announced that Pune will be hosting the upcoming ODI series between India and England, behind closed doors.

The three ODI matches will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium and the state association confirmed this news on Saturday. After the sudden rise in COVID cases, there were rumours that the series will be shifted out of Pune. However, that hasn’t happened, as the players are expected to be in a bio-secure bubble and play the matches.

In a released statement by the MCA, it was reasoned that there have been instructions from the chief minister of Maharashtra which has led to the making of this decision. “Keeping the seriousness of the current spike in COVID cases in Maharashtra, after inputs from the Hon’ble Chief Minister, it was decided that permission will be granted for these matches without spectators,” a statement issued by MCA read.

MCA to host the three ODIs behind closed doors

The statement further read, “The Chief Minister requested the President of the Maharashtra Cricket Association to take all the necessary precautions regarding players and other officials. With this, the uncertainty about holding these three ODI matches has ended and the association can start preparatory works like obtaining various permissions.”

The England tour of India 2021 started with a Test in Chennai, behind closed doors. But, as the series progressed, BCCI got approvals from Tamil Nadu Government and Gujarat Government to hold the subsequent matches with a 50% crowd. The second Test in Chennai was played with a terrific crowd, so was the third Test in Ahmedabad. India won both the Test matches and are currently leading the series 2-1.

They will play the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad once again, but it will be played with the red ball. The third match was a day-night encounter played with the pink ball, which India won by 10 wickets. Ahmedabad will also host the five-match T20I series which will be played after this Test series, and crowds are expected to be there. The three ODIs thereafter will be played from March 23.