Irfan Pathan, former Indian cricketer, has batted for the Indian Premier League to take place in some form this year.
The 13th edition of the cash-rich IPL was supposed to take place between March 29- May 24 but for the proliferation of the coronavirus [COVID-19] that paved way for the postponement of the tournament for an indefinite period of time.
The BCCI is looking at the September-November window to stage the competition behind closed doors but that would eventually depend on the decision that the ICC takes regarding the T20 World Cup in its meeting next month.
“The only way forward is to stay calm and hopefully the IPL will happen. I am certain the IPL will happen sometime this year so we can get the ball rolling. People talk about money in IPL and how it is a big business. Why are people talking about starting other businesses? If you are worried about small shops and big companies, why are you not talking about IPL in the same way? It is the livelihood of many people. Not just hundreds but many thousands are involved directly or indirectly with the league,” Irfan Pathan told the National.
He added: “It is the best cricket league and one of the biggest sporting events in the world. People follow it and get work out of it. I am sure it will happen, as long as it does not affect people’s health.”
“Those associated with the game are badly affected”- Irfan Pathan
Cricket is not only a religion in India but it also a source of income for a plethora of individuals. From scorers to the ground staff to hotel vendors, everyone has been hugely hit by the halt on the game in the past few months. And, Irfan Pathan knows it all too well.
“Those associated with the game are badly affected. Take the example of the person who sends throw-downs during training. Then there are scorers, coaches at lower levels. There are players who take up coaching at various levels. It does not pay as much but it strengthens their CV. Many people like them are getting hurt,” Irfan Pathan said.
“And these are the people we see in cricket. There are so many we don’t even see or know about. I was reading about a cobbler in Chennai for whom the IPL [Indian Premier League] was a major part of livelihood. He would help the Chennai Super Kings, local teams. Now he is struggling to survive.” Pathan added.