India vs Windies 2021-22: BCCI considering reducing number of venues?
India will host Windies for three ODIs and T20Is from February 6. However, the third COVID wave has given BCCI a headache. Therefore, the number of venues could be reduced.
Team India is currently engaged in South Africa, competing in three-Test series for the 2021-22 Freedom Trophy, followed by three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) that end on January 23. India will host Windies for three ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) each, following the SA tour, from February 6. However, the third COVID wave in the country has given the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a headache.
With the new COVID cases rising rapidly, especially considering the new Omicron variant, the BCCI may mull at reducing the number of venues for the WI series. Although the BCCI is yet to discuss the same formally, the introduction of curbs, curfews and weekend lockdowns have compelled BCCI to think about it. The series starts with the ODIs in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kolkata, followed by the T20Is in Cuttack, Vishakhapatnam and Trivandrum.
As per PTI, a BCCI official has confirmed that while things are being considered, the board is keeping a close eye on the situation. He affirmed that decision would arrive at the appropriate time. Considering the current situation, the BCCI might opt to host the six games across a couple of venues (three each).
The BCCI might not consider enough travelling to expose the players to possible contraction of the coronavirus. It is a lesson that the BCCI learnt from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 when the caravan-style travel system saw a few players getting infected, leading to a bubble breach. While the tournament was eventually suspended in India, the BCCI had to get the job done six months later in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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Upon arrival in Ahmedabad on February 1, the Windies players would be undergoing three days of strict quarantine. They will be allowed to practice between February 4-5. The BCCI is being extra cautious, as the rising cases also lead to the postponement of many domestic tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy and the Col CK Naidu Trophy.