Australia wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey says playing the upcoming T20 World Cup before empty stands would be strange and it would be ideal if the tournament is delayed to allow fans into stadiums.
The 15-team T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in Australia between October 18 to November 15 is under threat due to travel restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That would probably be the ideal situation if you can put a date on it, but it’s probably hard right now to say if we postpone the World Cup then three months later it would be fine to open the gates,’” Carey was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“I trust the guys well above my head to make the right decisions. I’d say it would be a strange feeling [without a crowd], no doubt. Playing over in England in the one-day World Cup, having the crowds of all different countries going crazy when they do well is something you can’t really explain.
“As a cricket player and a lover of the game, I’d do anything I could to represent my country at a World Cup.”
The 28-year-old said cricketers thrive on the energy of their fans. “Out in the middle it’s that atmosphere you love and thrive on. Saying that, the landscape of the world has changed rapidly over the last three months and if it has to be that way I’m sure we’ll find a way to make it go ahead,” he said.
“You want your fans there, they play a very big part in our sport and without the fans we wouldn’t have a job. But I love playing cricket and if there’s no one there I’ll definitely go out and play.”
The T20 World Cup crown has eluded Australia, who are five-time champions in the 50-over format. Carey, who is Australia T20 vice-captain, is happy with the consistent performance of the squad.
“We know our opening batters are likely to be (Aaron) Finch and (David) Warner, throw in (Steven) Smith at the top, so we’ve been pretty consistent with our line-up in the last six months and it’s really valuable doing that,” Carey said.
“You know what your bowlers’ strengths are, you know what the spinners can do – [Adam] Zampa and [Ashton] Agar were fantastic – and the top of the order was making runs.”
Carey said he is confident that the team will retain form despite the lockdown and do well at the World Cup if it goes ahead as planned.
“It was very enjoyable, quite a consistent group with our roles very specific. We had a really good understanding. Again, I’m very optimistic, if in six months’ time the World Cup goes ahead we are playing some really good cricket we like our conditions here in Australia,” he said. “I know the guys are still keeping fit and staying strong so if we do get an opportunity to play I think our game will be ready to go.”