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Everyone is keen for tournament to go ahead: Cummins on fate of IPL

PTI, Apr 3, 2020, 11:44 AM IST

Sydney The costliest foreign player in Indian Premier League, Pat Cummins says everyone, including his team Kolkata Knight Riders, is still hopeful of the 13th edition of the T20 event to go ahead sometime later.

The Australian, however, conceded that the priority now is to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The IPL was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in Mumbai but it was postponed to April 15 due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic which has killed more than 53,000 people worldwide.

“Everyone is still really keen for it (IPL) to go ahead, but the priority is to minimize risk of it spreading,” Cummins was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

India is currently under a nation-wide lockdown until April 14, which has cast serious doubts over the future of the cash-rich event’s 13th edition.

The 26-year-old Australian has been in constant contact with the Kolkata Knight Riders team which bought him for a whopping Rs 15.5 crore last December at the auction, as everyone waits for the league’s fate.

“It’s a holding pattern, the last I spoke to them, they were still really confident and hopeful it’ll be on at some stage,” he said.

Australia were forced to cancel their home limited-overs series against New Zealand after just one match and their Test tour to Bangladesh in June also looks uncertain at present.

“This year’s going to look very different to what we’ve seen before there are so many scenarios. Unless things improve, I can’t really see many tournaments going on anywhere in the world for a little while,” he said.

The deadly coronavirus has infected over a million people worldwide. Australia has reported more than 5,000 cases including 26 deaths.

European nations like Italy, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom alongside the United States of America have become the hotspots of the outbreak, which started from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

“It’s awful seeing things like – Italy and Spain, but now America and the UK in recent days – it’s just crazy how quickly it’s developed. Obviously got a lot of family over in England at the moment and speaking to them regularly,” Cummins said.

“Speaking to a few close mates who play county cricket over there, they’ve gone through the whole pre-season and geared up for the start of their summer. They’re now staring down the barrel of potentially their whole summer of cricket being over the health risk is a big one, but those guys basically have to put their careers on hold,” he added.

Earlier this week Test skipper Tim Paine said the nation’s cricketers were aware that the delay to their central contract for next season may lead to pay cuts, and they are willing to do their bit to preserve the game amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cummins reiterated the view of his skipper saying players were ready to “take some of that pain”.

The sporting fraternity has been forced to a standstill as governments all across the globe called for social-distancing. To keep themselves fit, the players as well as Australia coach Justin Langer are turning to home workouts.

“JL sends through the odd video message just gloating about the 16km run he’s done that day,” Cummins said.

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