How quickly things can change. One minute you’re out there playing the game and the next minute, the whole World is under lockdown. Sadly, professional sport cannot prepare you for real life. The year 2020 is already becoming one to forget for millions of people globally due to the Coronavirus. The big question is who could give a damn about cricket in such circumstances? The answer is simple, a die-hard cricket fan will be desperate to watch their beloved team do battle. Whether it’s international cricket or the ever so popular T20 tournaments.
According to the medical staff around the World, if someone has contracted the Covid-19 virus but has a strong immune system, one can recover entirely. Based on the statistics as I write however, 332,930 persons have contracted the virus and 14,510 have died so far globally. With such devastating numbers thus far, how could one play sports? Not least the gentleman’s game that has been around for over a century. The vision of live Cricket and all current sports have been substituted in the last 2 weeks on television by the sight of persons wearing masks, hand sanitizers, toilet paper and numerous coffins being carried off.
With the IPL pushed back by 2 weeks and due to begin April 15th, that too looks to be in jeopardy. BCCI’s president Sourav Ganguly has recently said that they will monitor week by week. At this point in time, it will be a miracle if the IPL is played behind closed doors.
All these depressing scenes that have been seen on the television, newspapers and social media is definitely a sight for sore eyes. The average Cricket lover is dying (not literally) of not seeing cricket going on at the moment, but the covid-19 has not just dented Cricket. The 2020 Olympics set to have been played this upcoming summer has been postponed until 2021. Many people are disappointed but the bigger picture must be looked at as lives of people and health are utmost first priority.
In terms of Cricket, a few major series have been postponed for the time being. South Africa’s ODI tour to India, New Zealand’s ODI tour to Australia and England’s Test tour to Sri Lanka. The popular Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoff games were also postponed as a few matches previously were played in front of empty stadiums. With the IPL pushed back by 2 weeks and due to begin April 15th, that too looks to be in jeopardy. BCCI’s president Sourav Ganguly has recently said that they will monitor week by week. At this point in time, it will be a miracle if the IPL is played behind closed doors.
Can you imagine how lame it will be for the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell or David Warner on a six-hitting spree in front of empty stands? For every six hit, the fielders may have to retrieve the ball themselves. The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended all professional cricket starting in the UK until at least the 28th of May. With the Coronavirus set to be peaking in May and June, one cannot see the English summer of Cricket commencing anytime soon. Cricket West Indies have proposed to host the England series consisting of 3 Test matches in the Caribbean, but no official word if this will occur.
Sport in general fills many lives with a diversity of imagination, hope, admiration and finesse. Many people can easily admit that Cricket is the best distraction from our daily lives. The roller-coaster emotion involved can bring one joy or sorrow but at the end of the day, it’s all short-lived. It also teaches us that you can be as mean as a machine on the field but best friends off it. Friendships are gained and lasts forever. Let’s all hope that sports on a whole is played again in good time as we all pray that this pandemic is a temporary one.