Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram cannot visualise a T20 World Cup happening behind closed doors and believes the ICC should wait for a “suitable time” to host the big-ticket event after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
There is speculation that the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November will be postponed due to the travel restrictions in place for the coronavirus outbreak.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I mean, how could you have a cricket World Cup without spectators,” Akram told ‘The News’ on Thursday.
“A World Cup is all about big crowds, spectators coming from all parts of the globe to support their teams. It’s all about atmosphere and you cannot get it behind closed doors,” he said.
On May 28, the ICC had deferred a decision on the fate of the T20 World Cup till June 10 as it continued exploring contingency plans amid the raging pandemic that has derailed calendars worldwide.
“So I believe that they (ICC) should wait for a more suitable time and once this pandemic subsides and restrictions are eased then we can have a proper World Cup,” he said.
The ICC Cricket Committee has recently recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball but allowed sweat as an interim measure to counter the coronavirus threat. It also did not allow use of artificial substances.
Akram said allowing sweat is not enough and ICC will have to find a “quick fix” to the problem.
“I’m sure fast bowlers won’t like it if they are stopped from using saliva to shine the ball. They are allowing sweat but I can say for sure that it isn’t the same,” he said.
“You shine the ball with saliva and sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball too wet,” he added.
“I believe that they will need to find a reasonable solution. But I would say that they will need to find a quick fix to this problem.”
Calls have been growing for an alternative to saliva from former and current cricketers including lead India pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
Sri Lanka bowlers have also said that they prefer saliva over sweat to shine the ball following their first training session post lockdown.
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