The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa will be played in empty stadiums at Lucknow and Kolkata due to the coronavirus threat, the BCCI announced on Thursday.
The matches are scheduled to take place on March 15 (Lucknow) and March 18 (Kolkata).
Earlier, India’s sports ministry had issued an advisory that in case it’s unavoidable to postpone a sporting event, then it is preferable to conduct it without a large public gathering.
“After holding discussions with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) and Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), the BCCI on Thursday announced that the remaining two One-day Internationals of the three-match series of South Africa tour of India, 2020, will be played without any public gathering, including spectators,” a BCCI media release stated.
“The BCCI has been working closely with the Government of India along with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the wake of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” it added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Wednesday, assessed that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.
“The BCCI is making every effort for compliance with the regulatory bodies of the Government of India and ensure the safety of our athletes and valued fans.”
Also, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has confirmed that Lucknow ODI will be held behind closed doors while the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has put ticket sales on hold with immediate effect, an indicator of the announcement to be made soon.
The BCCI is starting with its closed-door policy as the fifth and final day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy final between Saurashtra and Bengal will be played in an empty stadium at Rajkot.