As India and England get set to lock horns in an all-important four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy, the series would be of great significance for India. Not only a series win would boost their chances qualifying for the final of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship, but it would also be India's first home series in the prevailing pandemic era.

Owing to the same reason, the venues in the series has been limited. Slated to get underway from February 5, the first two Tests ould be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai before the final two Tests move to the redeveloped Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Meanwhile, as fans contemplate whether they would be allowed inside the stadium to watch all the action, it has been confirmed by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association that the matches would be held behind closed doors. A report from ESPNCricinfo adds that as per a request by England and Wales Cricket Board to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the decision has been taken, keeping in mind the bio-security, involving the players.

"In view of the prevailing Covid pandemic, BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk with the safety of the players during the forthcoming India-England Test series. As per BCCI directive, the first two Test matches will take place behind closed doors (No Spectators/Guests/Sub-Committee Members) as a preventive measure," said R Ramaswamy, TNCA secretary.

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Earlier, the Indian government had announced that stadiums could conduct sporting activities with 50% capacity. "For outdoor events, spectators will be allowed up to a maximum of 50% of the total capacity of the stadium," noted Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

As for the matches to be played in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Cricket Association is mulling having some crowd at the venue. However, it would all be subject to the approval from the Indian and state government. The venue has a capacity of 1,10,000, with GCA hoping to have at least 20-30% crowd.

Test schedule
1st Test: Feb 5-9 (Chennai)
2nd Test: Feb 13-17 (Chennai)
3rd Test (D/N): Feb 24-28 (Ahmedabad)
4th Test: Mar 4-8 (Ahmedabad)