Cricket Vs Covid-19
The entire world has come to a standstill due to the deadly pandemic which has infected millions of people. Cricket is no exception to the pandemic and all the cricketing action around the globe have been postponed or canceled for the past three months. Cricket is a global sport that has a huge fan following across the Central Asian countries especially India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh alongside South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, and West Indies. In this article let us see about the impact of the COVID-19 on the cricketing world.
Pandemic`s first attack on Cricket – Melbourne`s Chaotic week
The pandemic though started in 2019 in China, it showed it`s severe effects during early 2020 across the globe. The last international cricket match to feature with the presence of fans was the Australia vs. India Women`s final held at Melbourne on March 8. The week entirely turned upside the cricketing fraternity when a spectator tested positive among the 86,000 people in attendance setting the alarm bells. Four days later, Australia vs. New Zealand ODI match happened with no fans in the stadium. And that was the last international match to happen before the pandemic took the forefront.
Cricketing Events Cancelled
As all the countries took strict measures to control the spread of the virus, all the global events were suspended from the march second week. The Australia vs. New Zealand series was cancelled after the first ODI match whereas the South African and England players returned home without playing any matches from India and Sri Lanka tours respectively. All the players were asked to quarantine due to their travel and they were tested for the COVID results and luckily no player was affected by the virus. The pandemic has cancelled around 5 Test matches, 17 ODIS, & 18 T20I matches in the three months time frame between March 2020 to June 2020.
The Pandemic has also suspended the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) that was scheduled in April & May 2020. The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) will face losses around 300 Crores rupees if the league does not happen this year. Apart from it, Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and knockout matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) were also cancelled. The inaugural edition of England`s The Hundred league is also expected to be cancelled or postponed later in July.
Return of Cricket
The cricketing action finally came back to the field when the England Vs West Indies Test match started on July 8, 2020. All the players were asked to quarantine themselves from the outside world for 15-20 days before the start the match and they were tested for COVID -19 before the start of the match. England has created a safe environment without the fans in the stadium for the matches to happen. The ECB has scheduled series against Ireland and Pakistan to happen in July.
Future of Cricket
Apart from England, no other country has started the cricketing action. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking at all the possible ways to conduct the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia. Australia might face losses around 174 million dollars if the ICC 2020 T20 World Cup and the high-profile India vs. Australia Test series does not take place. New Zealand and Sri Lanka are faring better and are expected to conduct cricket matches very soon. The chance of return of cricket in India looks bleak at the moment with the pandemic infection at a high rate.
Cricket apart from being a sport is a means of livelihood of thousands of people like groundsmen, staff, freelancers, media people, etc. We expect the pandemic to end soon so that the world would return to normalcy. The pandemic has put the safety of players and fans on risk and cricket has rightly taken a step back to ensure their health. Cricket already back on the field in England and we hope all the countries will take a cue out of their book.
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