The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced that the second and third One-day Internationals (ODIs) between India and South Africa will be played behind closed doors. The BCCI also said that it was working closely with the government authorities, including sports and health ministry and is making every effort to ensure safety of “athletes and valued fans”. The BCCI, in its release, stated that it made the decision after holding discussions with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW).
“The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Wednesday, assessed that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. The BCCI is making every effort for compliance with the regulatory bodies of the Government of India and ensure the safety of our athletes and valued fans,” the BCCI said in a release.
“The BCCI will continue to take guidance from the Government of India and state regulatory bodies,” it added.
On Wednesday, the Indian board had issued a host of precautionary measures against Coronavirus for players, support staff and state associations.
After WHO characterised coronavirus as a pandemic, the sports ministry on Thursday issued an advisory to all the national sports federations, including the BCCI, asking them to ensure “no public gathering takes place at any sporting event” organised by them.
MYAS, in its order, had also said 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 first ODI in Dharamsala was abandoned without a ball bowled on Thursday. The team is scheduled to travel to Lucknow for the second ODI on March, while the third and the final match of the series will be played at Eden Gardens on March 18.