The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday decided to reschedule the remaining two matches of the one-day international series against South Africa. As a result of this decision the two matches scheduled to be played in Lucknow and Kolkata now stand cancelled.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday announced to reschedule the ongoing ODI series in view of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) outbreak. Cricket South Africa will visit India at a later date to play 3 One-day Internationals. The BCCI-CSA will jointly work out the revised schedule," BCCI informed through an official mail.
The decision comes after the board also decided to postpone the start of the Indian Premier League to April 15, amid the growing threat of coronavirus pandemic. The first ODI in Dharamsala was abandoned due to rain without even the toss taking place. The second match of the series was scheduled to be played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday and the final match was to be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.
The two matches were earlier planned to be held behind closed doors due to the government directive, which asked for sporting events to be shut for fans in view of the pandemic.
"We have been instructed by the union sports ministry to hold the match behind closed doors. The advisory has instructed us not to allow the gathering of fans and we are following the instructions," Ekana Sportz City's managing director Udai Sinha had said on Thursday.
The final two matches of the series were cancelled on the same day when the start of the Indian Premier League was also pushed back by the BCCI. The IPL will now begin from April 15.
Earlier, the cash-rich league was scheduled to begin on March 29 with a mout-watering clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and last-year's runners-up Chennai Super Kings.
India has recorded more than 80 positive cases so far with the global infected count standing at over 100,000.