Even though the organisers, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) claimed that around 16,000 tickets were sold till Wednesday for the match at the 22,000 capacity stadium, it was altogether a different story by the end of the day.
On Thursday, the Indian government said it wanted the national cricket team's upcoming matches to be played in empty stadiums - an unheard-of occurrence in a country where the sport is a national obsession. But now the BCCI, following consultations with stakeholders, has chose to call off the series. "The BCCI-CSA will jointly work out the revised schedule", Board Secretary Jay Shah said.
"You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health iamp; Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event".
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The change in decision follows the postponement of the Indian Premier League, which announcement was made on Friday morning.
"Following the advisory issued by the Sports Ministry, we held a discussion within ourselves and with officials from the BCCI". The second and third ODI was scheduled to be played at Lucknow and Kolkata on March 15 and 18 respectively. The IPL was due to start on March 29 but has been postponed till April 15. The decision was conveyed to the eight teams and other formalities will be worked out on Saturday (March 14), the day of IPL Governing Council meeting.
The players have also been told to "avoid close contact and interaction with individuals outside the team environment (to avoid cross-infection from unknown individuals)".