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.