The great Australian Ian Chappell believes that the suspension of the IPL is a reminder of the vulnerability of cricket and does not rule out the COVID-19 pandemic forcing to postpone or move India’s next T20 World Cup.
The 2021 edition of the lucrative T20 League was put on hold earlier this week after four players – Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Wriddhiman Saha, Delhi Capitals spinner Amit Mishra and KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – tested positive for COVID-19 in the bio-bubble.
“The suspension of the IPL 2021 tournament due to the surge in Covid infections and deaths among the public, and a number of participants who tested positive, was a reminder of the game’s vulnerability,” Chappell wrote in his column for ‘ESPNcricinfo ‘.
India, which is grappling with a devastating second wave of the pandemic with cases increasing by more than 4 lakh per day, is expected to host the T20 World Cup in October-November.
“In the current dire climate, the suspension of the IPL could also set a precedent. This could lead to the World T20 event, scheduled for India later in the year, either postponed or moved. “
Chappell recalled a few incidents that led to the disruption of the game in the past.
“In the past, tours have been interrupted and matches abandoned for various reasons. Many of these stories involved comeback stories, some of which were tragic and others funny. “
The 77-year-old recalled how bad weather during the 1970-71 Boxing Day test between hosts Australia and England led to the first-ever One-Day International.
“In 1970-71, the MCG Boxing Day Test between Australia and England was abandoned without a ball being thrown after heavy rains ruined any chance of a competitive match.
“This led to the very first ODI played in place of the Test in an attempt to recoup some of the lost revenue. The match was agreed between the officials of the two countries without the players having been consulted, which angered many in the English camp.
“It was yet another arrow in the players’ quiver in preparation for the World Series Cricket (WSC) revolution of 1977-78. The WSC is described as an Australian uprising, but that belies the fact that over 50 players from many different countries were among the original signatories.
The former Australian skipper also wrote about when Pakistani players lost a test in 2006 against England over allegations of ball tampering.
“In 2006, the fourth test between England and Pakistan ended prematurely with a lot of complaints. Pakistan lost the game after refusing to take the field when the team was charged with tampering and penalized with five points.
“Although cricket employs more sheriffs than you would find in the old American Wild West, Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq couldn’t be persuaded to bring his team back to the pitch. After a long delay, the game was awarded to England forfeit, ”he said.
“In a shameful attempt at compromise, the ICC subsequently declared the match a draw in 2008.
“However, integrity finally won in 2009 when the decision was overturned at the behest of MCC, which rightly said that breaking the law was setting a dangerous precedent,” said Chappell.