While things are not looking very promising at the moment, Australia pace spearhead Pat Cummins is hopeful that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will go ahead this year. The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc all across the world, bringing almost everything to a standstill.
The thirteenth edition of the IPL was scheduled to start on March 29. But in the wake of the outbreak, the BCCI suspended the league at least till April 15. The way things are unfolding at the moment, it is highly unlikely that the league will start any time soon.
However, Pat Cummins is hopeful that the league will go ahead this year, even if it means matches are initially played in empty stadiums. The right-handed bowler has a good reason to want the IPL to get underway since he was the costliest player in the last auction.
Kolkata Knight Riders had secured his services for a staggering amount of Rs 15.50 crore. In the process, he became the costliest overseas player of all time. And while he is hopeful of getting the IPL underway this year, he said that safety should be the first priority.
“The first priority is safety but the second one is getting back to normality, finding that balance,” the 26-year-old said.
“If that, unfortunately, means no crowds for a while, then that is that, but hopefully people can watch at home on TV,” he added.
Pat Cummins further said playing the IPL behind closed doors would have a “totally different feel about it”. He pointed out how exciting the Indian fans are and thus playing in empty stadiums would be a very different experience.
“When people ask about the difference between playing cricket in India the first thing is the crowd,” he said.
“They scream every single ball whether it’s a six or a wicket – it’s the same noise every ball – so that atmosphere is something that we love about playing in India.
“It will be missed in the short term if it can’t happen, but I have no doubt it will be a great event even if it has to be played without crowds,” he added.