The India vs England Test series will kickstart India’s home season after a gap of almost 10 months. The first two Tests in Chennai will be played behind close doors to kick off the series. The last Test match in India was played in November 2019 and after almost a year and a half, cricket is set to be back in the country.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) Secretary RS Ramasaamy confirmed that the first two Tests of the four-match series against England, to be played in Chennai, would be held behind closed doors.
India vs England: Chennai Tests To Be Played Behind Closed Doors
“We have been instructed (by the BCCI) that crowds would not be allowed. Not even the press would be allowed. That’s the situation now. We don’t know what the BCCI would decide in the future. As of now, all closed,” Ramasaamy told The Indian Express.
The BCCI, however, is not increasing the hosting fee for the staging association, which remains Rs 2.5 crore per game and without fans the TNCA would miss out on gate receipts – nearly Rs 1 crore over five days by a rough estimate.
The Test series kicks off from February 5 with both the teams scheduled to reach Chennai by November 27. As per reports, both the teams will be put up in the same hotel and will enter the bio-bubble together.
“Both teams are staying at the Leela Palace. The entire hotel has been blocked; there will be no other guests in the hotel. They will follow the quarantine and bio-security protocols; not only the players and coaching staff and match officials, but everybody who will be involved with the Tests” the TNCA secretary said.
England will tour India between February 5 to March 28 for four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs. Chennai will host the first two Tests. The final two Tests will be played at the newly built stadium in Ahmedabad. It has a crowd capacity of 110,000 spectators, making it the biggest-capacity cricket ground in the world.
The preparations with the pitches have already started as per the TNCA Secretary. The stadium hosted a few Syed Mushtaq Ali matches and as per him the pitches look good.