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Pat Cummins hopes the Indian Premier League (IPL) would go ahead as planned despite the current circumstances painting a grim picture of the fate of the competition.
The COVID-19 lockdowns in various parts of the globe have already affected the IPL with the start of the marquee event being pushed to April 15.
Although the prospects appear thin, even if the tournament commences on the stipulated date, the clashes could take place behind closed doors while doubts linger over the participation of Australian players, who may not be able to make the trip due to travel restrictions.
The overwhelming uncertainty surrounding the lucrative league adds to the worries of cricket’s biggest stars including IPL’s most expensive overseas pick, Cummins.
“They obviously haven’t cancelled it or anything like that yet. It’s still a bit of a holding pattern,” Australia’s leading fast bowler said from his home in Sydney.
“We’re in contact with our teams every few days. Obviously, everyone’s still really keen for it to all go ahead but you know the priority is to minimise the risk of (coronavirus) spreading.”
Cummins, who was purchased for a record sum of $2.17 million by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL auction, is presently under self-imposed isolation in Australia where coronavirus cases have exceeded 5,000.
As the international sporting calendar has been wrecked by the pandemic-induced crisis, Cummins suggests there might be a further delay to the IPL.
“I don’t expect anything too soon to happen. I mean obviously the preference would be to be over there playing but… I guess the silver lining is that we do get a bit of a break.”
All IPL-contracted players are now in limbo over their payments, which hinge on the final outcome of the organizers’ scheduled meetings soon.
The IPL, originally slated to span across two months, will likely be a much-shortened affair in order to avoid it interfering with international fixtures.
The first edition of the T20 competition was held in 2008 and has continued to be staged in its entirety each year. The 2009 tournament was hosted by South Africa while a part of IPL 2014 was co-hosted by the UAE to avoid the league coinciding with the dates of India’s multi-phase elections