Langer backs cricket behind closed doors once coronavirus crisis ends
Australian cricket team coach Justin Langer says playing the game without fans in the stadiums is an option worth considering if it helped get the game going again once the coronavirus pandemic goes away. The COVID-19 has forced all sport including cricket to be canceled or postponed at the moment. Langer shared his views about empty stadiums once cricket resumes.
"When you started off playing underage cricket, there's no crowds there," Langer told BBC Radio. "Maybe your mum and dad came and watched, or your brother and sister were bored and playing on the swings somewhere else. You played it because you loved playing the game, you loved playing with your mates and you loved playing the game."
Last month, Australia had the experience of playing behind closed doors in the opening match of the ODI series against New Zealand at the SCG on March 13. The final two matches in Sydney and Hobart were canceled as measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, a return series in New Zealand was also canceled.
Langer feels resumption of cricket would boost the morale of millions of fans. "The Australian cricket team are so fortunate to play in front of big crowds every time we play," he added. "But for the love of the game, and for still being able to entertain people through TV sets or radio, then there's value in that."
Last month, the ODI series between India and South Africa was called-off. Meanwhile, the BCCI also decided to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season till April 15. However, this is now set to be further postponed or canceled entirely. England's tour of Sri Lanka was canceled. Also, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was also called-off during the knockout stage.