The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary RS Ramasaamy on Friday has announced that the first two Tests of the four-match series between India and England will be played behind closed doors at the MA Chidambaram StadiumAlso Read - Ravindra Jadeja Is Preferred Over Ravichandran Ashwin In Overseas Tests Over This Reason; Explains Pragyan Ojha

Ramasaamy stated that the step is taken as a preventive measure in view of the COVID-19 situation in the country. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Michael Vaughan Slams Virat Kohli-Led Team India After Loss vs New Zealand in T20 World Cup 2021, Calls Black Caps Best All Format Team

“Yes…crowd will not be allowed for the two-Test matches as a preventive measure in view of the virus situation,” he told PTI. Also Read - T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Were The Two Concerns, Parthiv Patel After India Beat England in Practice Game

Also, a circular dated January 20 has been sent out to TNCA members saying that the decision to play the matches behind closed doors was taken along with the BCCI.

“In view of the prevailing COVID pandemic, the BCCI has decided not to take any kind of risk with the safety of the players during the forthcoming India-England Test series,” the circular read.

“As per the BCCI directive, the first two Test matches between February 5 and February 17 being held at M A Chidambaram stadium will take place behind closed doors (No Spectators/Guests/Sub-Committee Members) as a preventive measure,” it added.

Both the team will reach Chennai by January 27 as the players will undergo the COVID-19 tests before entering the bio-secure bubble created by BCCI.

It must be noted that the Indian government had recently announced that outdoor sporting events could be conducted with 50 per cent spectators after following the standard operating procedures.

The first Test is scheduled from February 5.

India have announced the squad for the first two Tests of the series as some of the key players who missed the Australia Test series returned to the 16-member team including Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma.

India squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel

Standbys: KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal

Net bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar

(With PTI Inputs)