The Maharashtra Cricket Association on Saturday announced that the three-match ODI series India and England in Pune will be played behind closed doors due due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The state body association stated that after inputs from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey, it took a decision to hosts the ODI matches without spectators.

“Keeping the seriousness of the current spike in COVID cases in Maharashtra, after inputs from the Hon’ble Chief Minister, it was decided that permission will be granted for these matches without spectators,” the Maharashtra Cricket Association said in a media release.

MCA president Vikas Kakatkar along with its governing council chairman Milind Narvekar met Chief Minister Uddhavji Thackeray and Tourism and Environment Minister Adityaji Thackeray in connection with the India-England one-day international matches.

All three matches of the series will be played at the MCA Stadium in Gahunje on the outskirts of the city on March 23, 26 and 28.

The cricket body also said that the chief minister has asked them to take all the necessary precautions with regard to players and officials.

“The chief minister requested the President of Maharashtra Cricket Association to take all necessary precautions regarding players and other officials.

“With this, the uncertainty about holding these one-day internationals, has ended and the Association can start preparatory works like obtaining permissions, for smooth conduct of the matches,” it said.

The association also thanked former ICC, BCCI and MCA president Sharad Pawar for his help and guidance.

“At this juncture, Mr Vikas Kakatkar also wishes to put on record the invaluable help and guidance received from Hon’ble Sharadrao Pawar,” the release stated.

Meanwhile, India and England will lock horns in the fourth Test starting from March 4 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahemdabad. India are currently leading the series 2-1. After the fourth Test, both teams will play the five-match T20I series at the same venue in Ahemdabad.