Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has responded to former Australian cricketer and Chennai Super Kings batting coach, Mike Hussey’s recent statement on the Covid situation in India and the viability of hosting the upcoming  T20 World Cup in the country.

Mike Hussey, who contracted the deadly contagion during the now-suspended season of the Indian Premier League, recently said that international players will be reluctant to travel to India due to the Covid issues for the T20 World Cup.

Sunil Gavaskar, ICC, T20 World Cup Trophy, ICC
T20 World Cup Trophy. (Photo: Getty Images)

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in the month of October-November but the chances of it taking place in the country have received a severe jolt with the IPL getting postponed due to multiple Covid cases across four different franchises.

The BCCI is, however, reluctant to jump the gun as of now and has sought time from the ICC before taking a decision on hosting the quadrennial event in the country.

Reacting to Mike Hussey’s statement, Sunil Gavaskar cited the example of Australia, who conducted the marquee series against India in several cities which were grappling with the deadly contagion besides hosting the Australian Open. The veteran cricketer-turned commentator stated that nobody in Australia had called for the Indian tour to be canceled despite active cases.

‘’The Aussies had no compunction in going ahead with the money-spinning India tour even in cities where they had active Covid cases and again, whether it’s a few hundred compared to hundred thousand cases, the fact is nobody in Australia suggested that the India tour be called off. Not only that, even the Australian Open tennis tournament went ahead despite active Covid cases in Melbourne,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for The Sportstar.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Gavaskar further called for a ‘sympathetic consideration from all the detractors who are demanding the tournament to be moved to the UAE. He wrote that with several months to go for the T20 World Cup, one should not jump the gun as of now and wait till August before making a final call.

‘’So, all that is asked for is a similar sympathetic consideration from all those who are trying to take it away from India. If the situation does not improve by August end then by all means take it to the UAE, the standby location for the event, but please don’t jump the gun now. UAE has shown in the recent past that it can handle big events and will definitely do a great job of hosting it,’’ wrote Gavaskar.

“That should not be a surprise, especially to the Aussies as they have seen earlier in the year that even standbys can pack a punch. But please give India a chance as much as you gave your country to hold big events earlier in the year.” he added.

The former Indian cricketer signed off by reminding everyone that India has successfully combated deadly contagions in the past and that it is doing its best to overcome the current situation despite significant challenges.

‘’As Mr. Cricket left for home shores he observed that it would not be possible to hold the ICC T20 World Cup in India in October this year. Yes, India is going through a horrific time with the virus spread but there are still more than four months to go for the mega event. More and more people are getting vaccinated and more and more cities and states are active in trying to control the spread,” Gavaskar added.

‘’In a country with a population as huge as India it is next to impossible to eradicate a disease but India in the past has combated successfully the SARS as well as bird flu. While some may argue that those were chicken feed diseases compared to Covid-19, the fact that India had controlled the first wave magnificently does give the confidence that the country can do it again but may take a little longer to do so.” he added.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.