India-England ODI series gets clearance from Maharashtra government amid COVID-19 surge

Earlier, there were speculations that the matches might be moved to a different venue but those reports have now been dismissed.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 27 February 2021 7:27 pm

Maharashtra Government has allowed the staging of ODIs between India and England in Pune amid the growing the number of Coronavirus cases in the city. The three fixtures, will however, be played without fans. Earlier, there were speculations that the matches might be moved to a different venue but that wasn't the case. Currently the teams are in Ahmedabad where the Tests will be followed by five T20Is.

Crowds part of the Tests & T20Is

Although the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) had not allowed any crowds for the opening Test between India and England, fans returned to stadiums after over an year in the second Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai with the board allowing sale up to 50% seating capacity.

The same protocol was followed for the Pink-Ball Test at Ahmedabad and despite the Narendra Modi Stadium boasting of the world's largest sitting capacity, just over 50,000 people flocked to watch the match which was finished well inside two days. With the final Test and T20Is also set to happen at the same venue, crowds will continue to enjoy some cricketing action amid the ongoing health concerns.

Virat Kohli admitted to lack of intensity in first Test, acknowledged the role of fans

After winning the second Test at Chennai, skipper Virat Kohli had admitted the intensity levels were not at their peak in the first Test of the series. Kohli also acknowledged the role of fans saying that in crunch situations of the match, it indeed makes a difference where fans make it more intimidating for the opponents. The 32-year-old was also seen recreating the Whistle Podu celebration in front of a Chennai crowd, asking them to make more noise when India seemed to be in control of the match.