MCA confirms India-England ODI series to be held in Pune without spectators

England & India getting ready for an encounter.

Action from an India v England game.

Maharashtra government today granted permission to host the upcoming 3-match ODI series between Indian and England in Pune. The series will be played behind closed doors due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Some reports had suggested that the games will be moved out of the state, given the spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.

However, after today’s meeting between MCA president Vikas Kakatkar, Governing Council chairman Milind Navrekar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and tourism minister Aditya Thackeray, it was decided the ODI series will be held in front of empty stands in Pune.

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) released a statement which read:

“Keeping the seriousness of the current spike in COVID cases in Maharashtra, after inputs from the Hon’ble Chief Minister, it was decided that permission will be granted for these matches without spectators. The Chief Minister requested the President of the Maharashtra Cricket Association to take all the necessary precautions regarding players and other officials. With this, the uncertainty about holding these three ODI matches has ended, and the association can start preparatory works like obtaining various permissions.”

For the first time since the pandemic, spectators were allowed for a cricket game in India for the second Test between India and England at Chennai. Ahmedabad also hosted the third Test at the new stadium in front of 50% spectators. However, Pune will not get that privilege as per the latest update from MCA.

The three-match ODI series will be played from March 23 to 28.

Team India have a superior head-to-head record against England in ODIs, winning 53 encounters to England’s 42. Two games ended in a tie while three matches yielded no-result.

India’s superiority is reflected further in home conditions. In India, the hosts has won 31 matches while England have won 16.

England, however, have done well in recent times, winning four of their last five ODI encounters against the Men in Blue.

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