No spectators allowed during India and South Africa’s ODI series

Matches to be played behind closed doors

Virat Kohli signs autographs India

The remainder of this month's ODI series between India and South Africa will be played behind closed doors.

This preventative measure has been implemented due to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The same precautions have been taken for the ongoing ODI series between Australia and New Zealand – and will likely happen for the Indian Premier League later this year.

“After holding discussions with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday announced that the remaining two ODIs of the three-match series of South Africa's tour of India will be played without any public gathering, including spectators,” read a statement from the BCCI.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday assessed that Covid-19 can be characterised 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 will continue to take guidance from the Government of India and state regulatory bodies.”

Several sporting events around the world, including cricket's Everest Premier League in Nepal, the T20I series between the World XI and Asia and the Australian Women's tour of South Africa, have been cancelled amid the spread of the virus.

Thursday's series opener between the Indians and Proteas at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala was washed out without a delivery bowled. The second ODI will be hosted by the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.

India and South Africa squads

The Indian squad features the returns of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, batsman Shikhar Dhawan and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All three have returned from injury. Seamer Mohammed Shami and batsman Rohit Sharma were not selected.

The South African squad is without fast bowler Kagiso Rabada and wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Rabada is sidelined by a groin injury. Shamsi is on paternity leave. The uncapped George Linde is in the squad, as is the retained Kyle Verreynne.

New title

Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.