Remaining India-South Africa ODIs behind closed doors

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safari
12 Mar 2020 | 03:34 PM
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Remaining India-South Africa ODIs behind closed doors

This move has been taken due to the dreaded novel coronavirus pandemic

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The remaining two one-dayers between India and South Africa will be played in empty stadiums in Lucknow and Kolkata due to the dreaded novel coronavirus pandemic.

The matches are scheduled to be held in March 15 (Lucknow) and March 18 (Kolkata).

The sports ministry has issued an advisory that in case it's unavoidable to postpone a sporting event, then it is preferable that it be conducted without a large public gathering.

"The BCCI is in receipt of the sports ministry's advisory. Obviously, if we are advised to avoid large gatherings, we will have to abide by it," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has decided to put ticket sales on hold, informed president Avishek Dalmiya, who also met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat in Kolkata to discuss the prevailing situation.

"I met our honourable CM at the secretariat. We would like to adhere to the government directive that has been issued today and we are stopping all ticket sales with immediate effect. We will wait till further directive," Dalmiya told PTI from Kolkata.

Since the matches are held behind closed doors, only TV crew, commentators and journalists will be allowed inside the stadium, apart from the players and support staff.

Day five of Ranji Trophy final to be played behind closed doors

The final day of the Ranji Trophy summit clash between Bengal and Saurashtra will be played without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI said.

"No public will be allowed on the final day. Only the players, match officials, officials from the host association and media are allowed," BCCI general manager Saba Karim, who is in charge of domestic cricket, told PTI.

The decision came after the Sports Ministry's advisory to all NSFs to follow the Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.

The government's directive is unlikely to have a huge impact on the final day's proceedings with only a handful of spectators coming to watch the action on the previous four days.

Bengal are aiming for their first title since 1989-90 while Saurashtra are eyeing their maiden trophy. After a drab three days, day 4 witnessed absorbing action with both teams fighting to take the first innings lead, which will effectively decide the Ranji Trophy winner.

Bengal, who have four wickets in hand, need 72 runs to overcome Saurashtra's 425 for the all-important first innings lead.

The decision to not allow fans to watch day five of Ranji Trophy final comes after a host of sporting events have been cancelled around the world or are being conducted in empty stadiums to tackle the Coronavirus threat.

Italy, the worst-hit country in Europe, has cancelled all sporting events at least till April 3. The National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States has suspended the ongoing season after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

Foreign players due to take part in the IPL beginning March 29 will be unavailable at least till April 15 due to government-imposed visa restrictions. The Indian Open golf, scheduled to run from March 19-22, has been postponed.

The Indian Open badminton from March 24-29 will be held without spectators.

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