Sunil Gavaskar feels a realistic chance of conducting a shortened Indian Premier League (IPL) this year is in Sri Lanka from early September as Australia might end up hosting the World T20 in October after having successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve.
The former India captain feels now that the Australia government has formally announced that 25% crowd can turn up for sporting events, a World T20 in October looks more imminent than IPL.
“After the announcement by the Australian government, there seems to be a possibility of conducting a World T20 in October. Maybe the teams will have to reach three weeks earlier, have seven days of practice games and also 14-day quarantine,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak .
“If ICC believes World T20 can happen, then having IPL looks difficult because it could only be held if World T20 is postponed. But after the announcement (by Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison), IPL in October looks difficult,” he said.
However a curtailed IPL in September, may be in Sri Lanka or UAE, is a more practical solution, the legendary opener said. “September, you can’t have IPL in India due to monsoon. But may be in Sri Lanka from early September with teams playing each other once instead of double-header. May be you can think of that,” Gavaskar said.
He believes that playing cricket in a post-COVID-19 world will be a different experience, especially if there aren’t any fans in the stadium.
“Fans lift your game. The atmosphere is very different when they are present. Obviously players will lose out on that. Also they will be wary of a team huddle, also may be a fist bump after a good shot,” he added.
He is sympathetic towards all those new players who were gearing up to showcase their talent in the IPL.
“Dejection will be there. Youth are a energetic lot and there is no outlet to spend that energy. How much exercise you do or spend time at the gymnasium, you want to play your sport — be it cricket, tennis or badminton,” he said.
“The smell of sweat is different and how to deal with it (frustration), I don’t have any answers. May be think about your game, watch videos, correct mistakes.”