The first two Test matches of the upcoming India-England series will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium without any crowd, a top official from host association TNCA said on Friday. According to Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary RS Ramasaamy, the first couple of Tests would be played without any crowd as per a BCCI directive, considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Talking about the same to PTI, RS Ramasaamy said, “Yes…crowd will not be allowed for the two Test matches as a preventive measure in view of the virus situation.”
Also, a circular dated January 20 has been sent out to TNCA members saying that the decision to play the matches behind closed doors was finalized by the BCCI.
The circular regarding the same read: “In view of the prevailing COVID pandemic, the 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 the BCCI directive, the first two Test matches between February 5 and February 17 being held at M A Chidambaram stadium will take place behind closed doors (No Spectators/Guests/Sub-Committee Members) as a preventive measure.”
The teams are expected to reach Chennai by January 27 and undergo testing before entering the bio-bubble. According to the recent announcement by the Indian government, outdoor sporting events could be conducted with 50 per cent spectators after following the standard operating procedures. The first Test is scheduled from February 5. You can check out CricketBetOnline for betting on cricket.
India’s squad for first two Tests against England: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel
England Squad for first two India Tests: Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes