Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow is all set to host the limited-overs series between India and South Africa. The eight-match series includes five One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals as well. The Kerala Cricket Association was earlier scheduled to host the tournament but later they expressed its inability to host the series at the Greenfield Sports Hub Stadium in Thiruvanthapuram.
“As per the notification of the BCCI India vs South Africa Women’s 5 ODI and 3 T-20 Series would be hosted by us at Bharat Ratna Shree Atal Bihari Bajpayee Ekana Int Stadium. Both the teams are arriving on 25th February at Lucknow and ODI matches would begin from 7th March 2021 onwards,” read the official statement from Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA).
The matches will begin on March 7. The five ODIs will be played on March 7, 10, 12, 14 and 17 whereas the three Twenty20 Internationals will take place on March 20, 22 and 24 respectively. However, the official announcement is yet to come. Meanwhile, the players are likely to assemble soon as they will have to undergo the mandatory quarantine period.
Team India will undergo a full fledge training session on March 6 before they play their first international match. And, the South African team is also expected to reach this week as well. Apart from Kerala, the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru too became the front runner to host the series.
“Bengaluru is a good option but again with the COVID-19 still very much around, we are dependent on government permission and the logistics too need to be worked out. We are still targeting the first week of March to start the series,” a BCCI source had said to PTI.
However, this series will mark the return of the Indian team to international cricket, who had last featured against Australia in the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia in Melbourne. However, the Indian players had featured in the Women’s T20 Challenge in the UAE during the IPL 2020, there were no other domestic matches for them. On the other hand, South Africa have recently played against Pakistan at home where they successfully won the series in both ODIs and T20Is.
“The players have been training at their respective centres but of course they will need at least 10 days to train together before the series. They have been away from the game for a long time now,” the source further added.