Justin Langer, the head coach of the Australian cricket team, has batted for playing cricket behind closed doors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel virus has brought every cricket assignment to a halt and with the situation not showing signs of improvement, it’s not known when cricket will resume. Australia haven’t been any exception either in the situation of crisis.
Their home T20I series against New Zealand was called off after the opening match at the Sydney Cricket Ground took place in front of empty stands. Only the players, ground-staff, match officials, broadcasting and media personnel were allowed at the venue in Sydney.
Langer, who’s also a former Aussie cricketer, felt that love for the game should be the driving force behind hosting matches. However, the southpaw admitted the playing behind closed doors will be a different proposition altogether.
Yes, it’s different: Justin Langer
“When you started off playing cricket, when you were under age, there’s no crowds there. You played it because you loved playing the game, you loved playing with your mates and you loved playing the game,” Langer was quoted as saying to BBC Radio.
“For the love of the game, and for still being able to entertain people through TV sets or radio, then there’s value in (playing behind closed doors). Yes, it’s different, but we’ll never, ever, ever take for granted how lucky we are ever again,” Langer added.
A number of members from the Australia team were also set to play in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the start of the T20 tournament was earlier postponed from March 29 to April 15 after the coronavirus started wreaking havoc.
Now with India going through a 21-day lockdown, the fate of the T20 league hangs in the balance. The Aussie cricketers have kept their fingers crossed in the critical scenario. Doubts have also been cast over Australia’s mid-year tour of England and Bangladesh.
The 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup, for the time being, is scheduled to start in October. But even the mega event has come under the clouds. Earlier, Langer said that the IPL is an apt platform for the Aussies cricketers to get prepared for the world tournament later this year.
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