Kohli’s 100th Test to be played with no spectators due to Covid

The first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Mohali will be played behind closed doors.

Virat Kohli will play his 100th Test next week.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

India superstar Virat Kohli will play his 100th Test behind closed doors with no spectators because of a coronavirus outbreak in Mohali, an official told AFP on Sunday.

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) will host the first of the two Tests against Sri Lanka starting on Friday and the spotlight will be on former captain Kohli’s landmark game.

“It is unfortunate that we can’t have crowds in Kohli’s 100th game due to Covid cases in the city,” PCA secretary Puneet Bali told AFP. “But it is a historic occasion and we would felicitate the great batsman and also put billboards all across the city to celebrate the feat.”

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Local media reported 19 new Covid cases over the past 24 hours in Mohali. The virus has witnessed a decline across the country.

The second Test, a day-night match in Bangalore, will have limited spectators to watch only the third pink-ball match that India’s will have played. Kohli, who was recently succeeded by Rohit Sharma as India’s all-format skipper, will return for the Test series after taking a break from the current three-match Twenty20 series.

The 33-year-old, who has amassed 7,962 runs in 99 Tests since his debut in 2011, will become the 11th Indian to appear in 100 or more five-day matches. Batting great Sachin Tendulkar played a world record 200 Tests before retiring in 2013.

The final Twenty20 is on Sunday after India took an unbeatable 2-0 lead on the weekend.

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