India vs South Africa 2nd ODI, 2020: For first time, ODI matches to be played without spectators

India vs South Africa 2nd ODI, 2020: India vs South Africa 2nd ODI match in Lucknow will be held in an empty stadium.

Mar 13, 2020 12:06 IST
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India vs South Africa 2020 ODI Series: The India vs South Africa 2nd ODI match in Lucknow will be played in an empty stadium. The India vs South Africa 3rd ODI at Eden Gardens will also be played without an audience. This was announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on March 12, 2020.

This would be the first time in the history of ODI cricket that international matches will be held behind closed doors with no spectators. The step has been taken as a precaution to stop the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus. The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) secretary Yudhveer Singh confirmed the news on March 12, 2020. He said that everyone who will be entering the stadium in Lucknow will be screened through thermal scanners and those found to have any flu-like symptoms will be isolated.

The move has come as a disappointment for about 55,000 spectators who were eagerly waiting for the 2nd ODI but officials insist that there is no better precautionary measure.  The first ODI between India and South Africa in Dharamsala was washed out without a ball being bowled due to incessant rain. The 2nd India vs South Africa ODI is scheduled to take place on March 15 in Lucknow. 

India vs South Africa 2020 ODI Schedule

India vs South Africa ODI Matches

Date/ Day

Time

Venue

1st ODI

March 12, Thursday

1:30 PM

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

2nd ODI

March 15, Sunday

1:30 PM

Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow

3rd ODI

March 18, Wednesday

1:30 PM

Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Will audience be barred from the 3rd ODI between India and South Africa as well?

While the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association confirmed that the India vs South Africa 2nd ODI, scheduled to be held in Lucknow, will be played without an audience, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has put its ticket sales for the 3rd ODI on hold with immediate effect. The President of the state cricket association, Avishek Dalmiya said that it is too early to say whether the match will be held with an audience or not. He said that they have stopped the ticket sales as of now until further directive. But in all likelihood, the 3rd ODI will also be played without an audience given the current situation of coronavirus threat. 

What does the sports ministry’s advisory suggest?

The sports ministry in its advisory had urged all the sports bodies to postpone large sporting events. In cases where it is unavoidable to postpone an event, the Ministry said that it would be preferable that it is conducted without a large public gathering. The UPCA decided to bar spectators from entering the stadium for the 2nd ODI between India and South Africa on March 15 after receiving the government advisory and having a due discussion with BCCI officials.

What is BCCI’s closed-door policy?

Under BCCI’s closed-door policy, cricket matches will be held behind closed doors and no audience will be allowed inside. Only players, support staff, health officials, commentators, TV crew and journalists will be allowed inside the stadium. The policy has already been implemented as the fifth-day of the Ranji Trophy final will be played in an empty stadium in Rajkot.

Background

The BCCI's announcement comes as it is making all efforts in compliance with the centre's regulatory bodies to ensure the safety of Indian players. The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 virus as pandemic on March 11, 2020.  The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India has now risen to 75. Kerala has reported the highest number of positive cases with 17 cases, followed by Maharashtra that has 12 cases with two in Mumbai, one in Nagpur and 9 in Pune.

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