Three remaining Twenty20 matches to be played behind closed doors due to the increase in cases, BCCI says.
England Twenty20 (T20) ‘s last three international matches against India will be played behind closed doors amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, authorities said.
In a statement released on Monday, the Indian Cricket Council said the 110,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad – the main city in Gujarat state – would be empty for matches on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The series is so far at level 1-1.
“The decision was made following detailed discussions with national and local health authorities,” the statement from the Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI) said.
“BCCI will continue to comply with all 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.”
An England spokesperson said he was convinced the measure would not impact the team.
“Apart from the fact that there will be a lot less noise in the stadium, it does not affect us materially,” he said.
“We stay in our bubble and even when the crowds were there, we never came into contact with any of them, and the ball was disinfected every time it was hit in the stands.
The first matches brought together tens of thousands of people sitting or standing side by side, with few masks, which drew widespread criticism on social media.
India widens borders
India reported 24,492 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, the sixth consecutive day of more than 20,000 infections, as the brakes to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 were extended in parts of the country that have seen an increase .
The total number of cases has now risen to 11.41 million, the highest in the world after the United States and Brazil. Deaths have increased from 131 to 158,856 in the past 24 hours, according to data from the Department of Health.
The government blamed overcrowding and a general reluctance to wear masks for the peak, ruling out mutations in the virus as a factor, unlike the West.
India’s worst-hit state Maharashtra on Monday ordered cinemas, hotels and restaurants to limit customers to half their capacity until the end of the month. Weddings and other social events will also have limited attendance.
Maharashtra has also locked down some districts.
India has embarked on a mass vaccination campaign, but experts have blamed the loosening of social distancing and mask-wearing for the increase in infections.
The country has vaccinated nearly 26 million people since the start of its vaccination campaign in mid-January and aims to vaccinate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people by August.