Former Sri Lanka captain and President of the Marylebone Cricket Club Kumar Sangakkara thinks that postponing the T20 World Cup in Australia could be one of the International Cricket Council’s options as the clock runs down to the big-ticket event.
All forms of competitive cricket has been suspended since mid-March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The top cricketing boards have suffered major losses due to events being cancelled or postponed. Supporters are unlikely to be given access to enter stadiums anytime in the near future, leading to more financial setbacks.
If all goes according to schedule, West Indies’s tour of England will be the first series to restart cricketing activity. There have been talks about a shortened Indian Premier League taking place during the October-November window, if the T20 World Cup is postponed.
Sangakkara also asked the stakeholders of the game to manage the health and safety of the players and supporters, if the T20 World Cup is postponed to a later date. Sangakkara was talking to senior India players Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan in an episode of Star Sports’s show Cricket Connected.
Sangakkara said: “The real thing is what’s going to happen with the virus. Is it going to disappear like SARS and MERS, or is this something that’s going to come back seasonally? Will we have to live with this particular virus or different strains of it from time to time or do we have to live with it long term?
“If that’s the case, then some of the changes that we have seen in our lives now, may be the new normal for us for a few years until a vaccine is found or until there’s enough immunity globally among the people to withstand this. So, those are really questions that I don’t think anyone can answer at the moment. We will get more clarity as time goes by.”
He added: “So, I can imagine sitting around a table for the ICC, trying to understand, consulting with experts to understand what’s going on. And more so, the questions that a lot of us have in our minds have still not been answered by the top most experts in the world.
“Everyday, there are new learnings, new things being found out, so we will have to wait and see, but the options may be to cancel it this year, postpone it to another year, but to have in place anticipatory procedures that take into account health and safety of both the players and the spectators, and make sure that’s iron clad.”
Watch Sangakkara talk about cricket in the times of Covid-19 pandemic here: