Rain washes out first India-Proteas ODI

Ground staff workers cover the pitch under the rain as the toss is being delayed before the first one day international (ODI) cricket match of a three-match series between India and South Africa at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on March 12, 2020. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-----

However, it now seems the last two matches could be played behind closed doors due to the government’s directive on the coronavirus.

Rain washed out the first one-day international between India and South Africa without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala on Thursday — and the next two games could be held in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Morning rain over the Himalayan hill town forced a delay of the toss, and returned in the afternoon leaving umpires with no choice but to call the game off.

It is the second successive international to have been washed out at Dharamsala after a Twenty20 match between the same opponents was abandoned without a ball being bowled in September.

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This three-match series has gone ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak that has prompted the cancellation of top sporting events across the globe.

But the next two matches in Lucknow on Sunday and Kolkata on March 18 could be played behind closed doors after the Indian government advised sports bodies to hold events in empty stadiums because of the pandemic.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India made no immediate announcement of its plans for the games.

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