Pat Cummins, the most expensive foreign player in Indian Premier League, said he would be willing to play in the T20 event without fans as it would help bring a sense of normality in a world ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
The IPL was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in Mumbai but it was postponed to April 15 due to the pandemic which prompted a lockdown in India.
Asked whether he would support games without fans in a BBC podcast, Cummins said, “Of course - whatever it takes to try and get cricket up and play those big events safely.”
The 26-year-old Cummins, who was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whooping Rs 15.5 crore in the auction last December, said he is “super hopeful” the league will be held though he would be “surprised if it happened soon”.
“They scream every single ball whether it’s a six or a wicket - it’s the same noise every ball - so that atmosphere is something that we love about playing in India,” he said.
“It will be missed in the short term if it can’t happen, but I have no doubt it will be a great event even if it has to be played without crowds.”
The Australian pace spearhead, however, reiterated that the main priority is the health and safety of the people.
“The first priority is safety but the second one is getting back to normality, finding that balance. If that unfortunately means no crowds for a while, then that is that, but hopefully people can watch at home on TV,” he said.
“It would have a totally different feel about it. When people ask about the difference between playing cricket in India the first thing is the crowd,” he added.
With PTI Inputs