Former Australia captain Allan Border said on Tuesday that he cannot even imagine of hosting this year’s Twenty20 World Cup at empty stadiums due to the global pandemic novel coronavirus which has brought the world into a standstill.
More than 1 million people have been affected by the virus and several lost their lives as well. This has also imposed travel restrictions and quarantine periods in countries across the globe, has raised the question over the flagship tournament, which is scheduled to begin in Geelong on 18 October.
Although there is an idea of playing the tournament in empty stadiums to give cricket-starved fans live action on television, this idea did not get the support from the 64-year-old Allan Border who is not a fan of the concept, especially for a tournament like T20 World Cup.
“I just can’t imagine playing at empty stadiums ... it defies belief,” he told Fox Sports News. “Having teams, support staff and everyone else associated with the game wandering around the country, playing games of cricket, but you can’t let people into the grounds. I just can’t see it happening.”
“It’s either you play it and everyone just gets on with the job and we’re past this pandemic. Or it just has to be cancelled and you try to fit it in somewhere else,” said Border, who led Australia to their first 50-overs World Cup victory in 1987.
The virus has so far affected about 6,400 Australians and led to 61 deaths as well. All-rounder Glenn Maxwell also expressed similar sentiments at the weekend for the tournament.
“It’s going to be hard for us to justify having a World Cup when we can’t get people into the grounds,” Maxwell told ABC Grandstand. “So I can’t see it happening in the near future.”
However, the governing body - International Cricket Council and the local organisers have been working on contingency plans but expect the tournament to play as per the schedule.
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