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Salaam Cricket 2020: Hope IPL is played because it is important for all stakeholders, say Mohammad Azharuddin


Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin said the Indian Premier League is an important tournament for Indian players a well as overseas players. He said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should look to host the IPL after it was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-10 pandemic.

International cricket will resume in July when England take on West Indies for a Test series. The International Cricket Counil (ICC) has deferred the decision to play the T20 World Cup next month while BCCI is also keen on hosting the Indian Premier League.

England has taken a very big and a bold step, cricket will restart as a result of this,” Azharuddin said on Salaam Cricket 2020. “England and West Indies series will set the ball rolling. And I hope the IPL also happens because a lot of people are connected with it, Indian players and international as well. The boards also need to sit and decide on the T20 World Cup as soon as possible.”

Azharuddin was critical of a few former Australian pacers who said it was an opportunity for the Indian board to make money. Azhar said it was a wrong thing to say as the IPL helped make everyone make money.

“According to me the first tournament which was scheduled that is important. T20 World Cup is already in the itinerary. But all this can only happen after the vaccine comes. The IPL is very important, because everybody has to gain from this.

“Some former Aussie seamers said IPL is a money-grab for the Indian board. But it is actually true for everybody, even the overseas players. People should not say such things because it is an important tournament and the board should look to hold it,” he said.

ICC has introduced several measures to sanitise cricket in the time of a global pandemic. Banning the use of saliva on cricket balls, for instance, could make life difficult and challenging for pace bowlers.

Azharuddin said it would be a challenge for bowlers.

“On the matter of the saliva ban, it will be very difficult. Even now if I get a ball I shine it first with my saliva before passing it on to someone else.

“Cricket has to restart but following so many guidelines won’t be easy. Till the time the ENG-WI matches don’t happen we won’t get to know what is right and what is wrong. It all depends on the players, they are taking a big risk. Cricket is a contact sport because there is only one ball which travels from player-to-player and in the stands as well the fans touch it.

“Therefore, I think the boards need to sit and discuss about this as soon as possible. Cricket needs to restart but only after taking all precautions. Every person needs to be safe because health comes first,” he said.

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