Lucknow's Ekana to host IND-SL series opener on February 24
In a reversal to the original schedule, the series against Sri Lanka will begin with three T20Is, the first being played at Lucknow's Ekana International Stadium, followed by two Test matches at Mohali and Bengaluru respectively. The move came after Sri Lanka Cricket Board requested the BCCI to make these changes in the schedule to ensure a smooth Bubble to Bubble transfer for Sri Lankan T20 players, who will conclude their T20 series against Australia on February 20.
What's the update
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In a new media advisory issued by the BCCI on Tuesday, Lucknow's Ekana Stadium has been slated to host the opening match of the India-Sri Lanka T20I series, next Thursday, allowing the state security officials and administration to prepare for the match immediately after the elections are commenced on February 23.
A press statement issued by the BCCI secretary, J Shah explains the tour schedule. The battle between India and Sri Lanka will be kick-started with the three-match T20 series. The following Test series will be held in Mohali from March 4 to 8 and Bengaluru from March 12 to 16, under the banner of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23.
Closed-door match in Lucknow
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In a move to avoid players from getting infected with COVID-19, the Lucknow match will be conducted as a closed-door game. The city administration has permitted only 500 people within the premises, including work staff and media personnel to kick off the game. Only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the stadium, officials informed.
All preparations for the match have been made and the teams are expected to arrive in Lucknow on February 21. Post arrival the teams will immediately enter a bio-bubble at their hotels, ensuring all the COVID-19 safety protocols. However, teams will be allowed to play a practice match on February 23, a day before the final match is played.