Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes that the suspension of the 14th season of the Indian Premier League another reminder of cricket’s vulnerabilities in the Covid era and he believes that given the current situation in India, he wouldn’t be surprised if the T20 World Cup either gets shifted or postponed.
The 14th season of the Indian Premier League was suspended for an indefinite period of time by the Board of Control for Cricket in India last week after multiple Covid positive across four different franchises rocked the competition.
India is scheduled to host the ICC T20 World Cup later this year but given the current Covid situation and the failure of the BCCI to stage the IPL smoothly like it had done last year has posed several question marks as to whether the tournament should be staged in India or not.
“The suspension of the 2021 IPL tournament because of surging Covid infections and deaths among the public, and a number of participants testing positive, was a reminder of the game’s vulnerability,” Ian Chappell wrote in his column for ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“In the current disastrous climate, the suspension of the IPL could also produce a precedent. It may lead to the World T20 event, programmed for India later in the year, either being postponed or moved,” Ian Chappell added.
The former Australian captain went on to recall numerous instances from the past where the games were called off due to a variety of reasons.
Ian Chappell recalled how poor weather during the 1970/71 Boxing Day Test paved way for the introduction of One-day International cricket.
“In 1970-71 the MCG Boxing Day Test between Australia and England was abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy rain ruined any chance of a competitive match,” Chappell recalled.
“That led to the first ever ODI being played in lieu of the Test in an effort to recoup some of the lost revenue. The match was agreed between officials of both countries without the players being consulted, and this angered many in the England camp,” Ian Chappell added.
“It was yet another arrow in the players’ quiver in the build-up to the World Series Cricket (WSC) revolution in 1977-78. WSC is portrayed as an Australian uprising but that belies the fact that more than 50 players from many different countries were among the original signees,” he said.
Ian Chappell also recalled the time when the Pakistani team under the leadership of Inzamam-ul-Haq forfeited a Test match against England at the Oval in 2006 after the team was accused of ball-tampering.
“In 2006 the fourth Test between England and Pakistan came to a premature end with many recriminations. Pakistan forfeited the match after refusing to take the field when the team was accused of ball-tampering and penalized five runs,” said Ian Chappell.
“Despite cricket employing more sheriffs than you’d find in the old American Wild West, the Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, could not be coaxed into taking his team back onto the field. After a lengthy delay the match was awarded to England on a forfeit,” he said.
“In a disgraceful attempt at compromise, the ICC subsequently declared the match a draw in 2008. However, integrity finally won out in 2009 when the decision was reversed at the behest of the MCC, who quite rightly claimed that to not uphold the laws set a dangerous precedent,” Ian Chappell said.