The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to complete standstill for now. With that the deadly pandemic has also brought all the outdoor sports activities to complete halt till the virus eradicates. From Cricket tournaments to Football league to Wimbledon to everything has either been cancelled or postponed indefinitely amid the world wide lockdown.
While all the cricket action looks postponed or cancelled in foreseeable future, Bundesliga, the German football league, is likely to kick start some sports activities sometime in May. In these tough times, some scholars of the game have even argued for matches in the empty stadium but the situation is so worse, at present, that the operational heads of institutions like BCCI and CA have denied any possibility of cricket in near future.
In a recent communication, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly clearly denied the possibility of Cricket in near future and said that the human life remains the top priority in such times. “The social reality of Germany and India are different, there will be no cricket in India in the near future,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told TOI on Tuesday. “There are too many ifs and buts involved. More importantly, I don’t believe in sport when there is a risk to human life.”
Harbhajan Singh, the former India off-spinner and Chennai Super Kings’ player has also advocated the same. “When IPL teams travel, there’s a huge crowd at the airports, hotels, outside the stadium. How are you going to stop them if you are looking to maintain social distancing? There should be no top-flight cricket till there is a vaccine for Covid-19.”
Recently, Little master Sunil Gavaskar also gave an unpopular suggestion of swapping the hosting rights of T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021, to be held in Australia and India respectively. “As we all know, Australia has barred foreigners from entering the country till September 30. The tournament starts in mid-October so it is looking difficult at the moment,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“Next year the T20 World Cup is scheduled in India. If India and Australia come to an agreement and the Covid-19 curve in India flattens out, they can swap. It can be held in India this October-November and next year in Australia.”
However, Chennai Super Kings CEO doesn’t look sure of organising the matches in empty stadium as he termed it a tough ask considering the huge fan following cricket holds in India. “Did you see the crowds during our practice sessions at Chepauk when we said we can’t allow people inside the ground. Lives are at stake; you can’t control Indian crowds that easily. Yes, there will be financial losses, but we have to live with it,” said KS Viswanathan.