CHENNAI: Keeping the current Covid-19 situation in mind, the tours, fixtures and technical committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India has recommended India's upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies be played at Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
As per the original schedule, the ODIs are scheduled to take place in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kolkata with Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, and Thiruvanathapuram hosting the T20Is.
After the completion of ODIs in South Africa on January 23, India will take on West Indies with the ODI series commencing on February 6. While the BCCI had announced the schedule way back in September hoping to bring crowds back to the venues, the onset of the third pandemic has made them change their plans.
As a result, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will once again be a venue for the West Indies series. Since the pandemic, the city has already hosted two Tests and five T20Is against England and will now either host three ODIs or as many T20Is in the West Indies series. The other venue being short-listed is Eden Gardens.
It is understood that with other big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai witnessing a huge increase in Covid positive cases, the BCCI was looking at other options and even considered Lucknow. But with Uttar Pradesh set to host assembly elections, the BCCI didn't want to take any chances and instead has short-listed Kolkata.
As things stand, the BCCI has not decided on allowing crowds, and according to a BCCI official, it would take a call depending on the Covid cases in the city. “There is still time for that. But even if crowds are allowed, it won't be at full capacity. The chances are it will mostly be played behind closed doors,” the official said.
With regards to the two Tests and three T20Is against Sri Lanka, the BCCI is yet to make a final decision. But as things stand Kohli's 100th Test may not take place in Bengaluru if the Covid situation doesn't improve in the city.
It is understood that the BCCI's Plan B is for the series is to keep it in the northern belt with Dharamsala, Chandigarh and Delhi being seen as potential host cities. Keeping it in these cities means, the team can cover the venues by road.
“There is still time for the Sri Lanka series. So we will take a call next month. We are consistently monitoring the situation and by mid-February will have a clear picture. Even if the situation improves, we won't be taking it to four venues,” the official said.