The two T-20 internationals between England and India have got a terrific response at Narendra Modi Stadium in the past four days. Crowds have poured in to see the two best T-20 teams in the world. However, the last three games of the series are set to be played behind closed doors.
BCCI confirmed on Monday that the rise in coronavirus cases in the city has forced them to play remaining games without spectators in the stadium. The cricket board of India held talks with state and health officials before arriving at this decision. BCCI also confirmed that tickets for the last three T-20 games will be completely refunded.
The second T-20 international on Sunday saw close to 67,000 spectators in the stadium. Considering the spike in cases of coronavirus across the state and country, it is a wise move from BCCI to make sure that the health of players and fans is not compromised. Moreover, they have also made sure that England’s tour of India will go smoothly by taking this decision.
The spectators for international games in India returned from the second test match in February. Fans were allowed to watch all three victories of India in Chennai and Ahmedabad. After the test series, BCCI confirmed that three ODIs between two sides later this month would be played behind closed doors in Pune since the city has seen a spike in infection in the last month.
BCCI needs the complete series against England smoothly to make sure that doubts are not raised about IPL and T-20 World Cup later this year. They have already taken steps to have IPL without big hurdles from April by confirming that games will be behind closed doors. Having so many fans in the stadium could harm the bio-bubble of teams. At the end of 2020, England’s tour of South Africa was postponed at mid-point due to a breach of bio-bubble, while Pakistan Super League was suspended in March due to covid cases amongst players.
The third T-20 international will be taking place on March 16. India bounced back in the second T-20I with a convincing performance on Sunday. Virat Kohli’s men will be looking to maintain the momentum and get the lead on Tuesday. The fourth and fifth T-20 games will take place on March 18 and 20, respectively.
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