With the current Covid-19 situation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s tours, fixtures, and technical committee has recommended that India’s upcoming limited-overs series against the West Indies be played in Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
According to the original schedule, the ODIs will be held in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Kolkata, while the T20Is will be held in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, and Thiruvanathapuram.
After the completion of ODIs in South Africa on January 23, India will take on West Indies with the ODI series commencing on February 6. While the BCCI had announced the schedule way back in September hoping to bring crowds back to the venues, the onset of the third pandemic has made them change their plans.
As a result, Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium will host the West Indies series once more. Since the pandemic, the city has hosted two Tests and five T20Is against England, and the West Indies series will either feature three ODIs or as many T20Is. Eden Gardens is the other venue on the shortlist.
With other major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai seeing a significant increase in Covid positive cases, the BCCI was reportedly considering other options, including Lucknow. But, with assembly elections looming in Uttar Pradesh, the BCCI didn’t want to take any chances and instead chose Kolkata.
As things stand, the BCCI has not decided on allowing crowds, and according to a BCCI official, it would take a call depending on the Covid cases in the city. “There is still time for that. But even if crowds are allowed, it won’t be at full capacity. The chances are it will mostly be played behind closed doors,” the official said.
It is understood that the BCCI’s Plan B is for the series is to keep it in the northern belt with Dharamsala, Chandigarh and Delhi being seen as potential host cities. Keeping it in these cities means, the team can cover the venues by road.
“There is still time for the Sri Lanka series. So we will take a call next month. We are consistently monitoring the situation and by mid-February will have a clear picture. Even if the situation improves, we won’t be taking it to four venues,” the official said.