India’s much-anticipated day-night Test against England will be held at the newly-constructed Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad from February 24 next year, with the venue also holding one more Test and five T20 Internationals.
This will be India’s first bilateral series at home since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The BCCI has restricted the tour to just three venues keeping in mind the current pandemic situation prevailing in the country. The two other venues that have been allotted matches as per BCCI’s rotational policy are Chennai, which will host two Test matches, and Pune that will host the three ODIs during the February-March series.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Thursday announced Motera as the venue for the day-night Test during the Gujarat Cricket Association’s Indoor Academy inauguration. The match will be India’s second pink ball Test at home after the Bangladesh game at the Eden Gardens last year.
Motera, the largest cricket stadium in the world, boasts of state of the art facilities and a seating capacity of 110,000.
“The BCCI prioritises health and safety of both teams and will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the tour is held adhering to all safety protocols agreed by the BCCI and ECB medical teams. Both Boards have worked closely to put together an exciting series that promises to provide high octane action between two powerhouses of world cricket. This will be India’s first bilateral series at home since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the home season will bring back joy to cricket fans,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a media release.
“England team will not travel the length and breadth of the country in the prevailing situation (COVID-19 pandemic). There are only three cities where BCCI is creating a bio-bubble. Two Tests and five T20Is will be in Ahmedabad. The remaining two Tests will be in Chennai and three ODIs in Pune,” a senior BCCI source said.
He then explained the rationale behind Pune and Chennai getting matches.
“As per our rotational policy, Pune and Chennai were due to get matches long back. With this series, they would get a chance to host their pending games.
“Also after a lot of deliberation, BCCI’s operations team found that these are the three appropriate venues to create bio-secure environment for two teams,” the official said.
It is understood that a successful hosting of England series would pave the way for a good and successful IPL at home after it had to be taken to UAE this year.