With the BCCI seeking an extension from the ICC to decide the fate of the 2021 T20 World Cup, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has reacted to former Australia batsman Michael Hussey’s comment about India no longer being safe to travel for the T20 World Cup. Hussey, Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach had contracted the Covid virus and narrated his ordeal and the entire road to recovery. However, he also mentioned that teams would fear travelling to India for the T20 World Cup later this year.
Citing Australia’s example as to how the country went ahead with staging big sporting assignments despite existing cases of Covid in several cities, Gavaskar has requested to ‘not jump the gun’ on the possibility of India retaining the hosting rights.
“The Aussies had no compunction in going ahead with the money-spinning India tour even in cities where they had active Covid cases and again, whether it’s a few hundred compared to hundred thousand cases, the fact is nobody in Australia suggested that the India tour be called off. Not only that, even the Australian Open tennis tournament went ahead despite active Covid cases in Melbourne,” Gavaskar wrote on his column for The Sportstar.
“So, all that is asked for is a similar sympathetic consideration from all those who are trying to take it away from India. If the situation does not improve by August end then by all means take it to the UAE, the standby location for the event, but please don’t jump the gun now. UAE has shown in the recent past that it can handle big events and will definitely do a great job of hosting it.
“That should not be a surprise, especially to the Aussies as they have seen earlier in the year that even standbys can pack a punch. But please give India a chance as much as you gave your country to hold big events earlier in the year.”
The second wave of Covid-19 created havoc all over India, including the postponement of the IPL 2021 and although things appear a lot more in control now than it did in April or the beginning of May, there have been concerns about whether it would safe to conduct the T20 World Cup later this year in India as per planned. Gavaskar feels is it too early to come to a decision to move the ICC event outside India, and is confident that the country will be able to tackle the pandemic better in the coming months.
“As Mr. Cricket left for home shores he observed that it would not be possible to hold the ICC T20 World Cup in India in October this year. Yes, India is going through a horrific time with the virus spread but there are still more than four months to go for the mega event. More and more people are getting vaccinated and more and more cities and states are active in trying to control the spread,” Gavaskar added.
“In a country with a population as huge as India it is next to impossible to eradicate a disease but India in the past has combated successfully the SARS as well as bird flu. While some may argue that those were chicken feed diseases compared to Covid-19, the fact that India had controlled the first wave magnificently does give the confidence that the country can do it again but may take a little longer to do so.”