Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar made an emotional appeal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as well as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to discontinue the plans of their respective T20 leagues amidst the rising cases, and deaths, due to the covid-19 across both countries.
While the IPL 2021 has commenced and 20 matches have been played out of a total of 60 games scheduled. The PSL 2021, which was halted in early March due to positive cases amongst players and staff members, is set to resume in June. Karachi will host the remaining 16 league matches and the playoffs from June 1 to June 20.
People’s lives are more important right now: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar’s plea comes in the wake of over 300,00 new positive cases of covid in India and more than 2,500 deaths on Sunday (April 25) with patients failing to obtain proper medical facilities of oxygen and beds; Pakistan, too, has observed a recent spike in covid cases, and deaths owing to the virus.
The 45-year-old said that the BCCI should provide the money used in the IPL to the infected people for oxygen and beds and other medical requirements. Shoaib Akhtar, who snapped over 400 international wickets, feels that it is not the “right time” to conduct the leagues, and the lives of countrymen should be given priority above entertainment.
“If we are dealing with such a pandemic, then we shouldn’t have PSL’s resumption in June. This is not the right time for IPL 2021. Please give IPL’s money to the people in need, to buy oxygen tanks and save lives,” Shoaib Akhtar said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
“We don’t want such a cricket, such heroes, at this time. We don’t want entertainment, we don’t want PSL or IPL. We want that lives are saved in India and Pakistan. I’m saying all this with a lot of pain and disappointment. People’s lives are more important right now. If you want our show to be cancelled, so be it too,” he added.
BCCI & PCB should both rethink if this is a good time to continue the IPL or restart the PSL. Things are tough. All resources should go towards helping people in these devastating times.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 25, 2021
Earlier former Australia keeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist had asked fans if it was appropriate to conduct the IPL when the country is reeling with deaths, or did the tournament provide a good distraction from the miseries outside the field.
“Best wishes to all in India Flag of India Frightening Covid numbers. #IPL continues. Inappropriate? Or important distraction each night? Whatever your thoughts, prayers are with you,” Adam Gilchrist tweeted.