Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Will cricket endure through a global pandemic

Opinion: Will cricket endure through a global pandemic

Will cricket endure through a global pandemic

It seems terribly selfish to consider the fate of global sport while countless lives are in danger from the COVID-19 coronavirus, but cricket must consider its path forward in these trying times.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

The T20 World Cup is only scheduled to take place in October, but the global clampdown on mass gatherings could stretch beyond the next few months.

As a sport, cricket is likely to endure, fueled by the passion of a billion loyal fans but as a business, some of the game's stakeholders might be in for a massive hit. Plenty of those will be willing to go to great lengths to ensure cricket finds a way to continue putting on a show.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended until mid-April with a decision to be made closer to the time as to whether it can go ahead. If it does it is likely to be an event played behind closed doors.

If the IPL goes ahead without the fans, it may provide a blueprint for the immediate future of the game.

Just getting the tournament to be played will require the BCCI and organisers to jump through several hoops and overcome opposition not only from India's government but the authorities in several other countries.

Getting the IPL done, in these trying times might be considered rank greed, but it offers an opportunity to test the boundaries of sport in the time of the coronavirus.

Just getting the overseas professionals into the country will provide obstacle enough before the IPL even get to the question of venues.

If the tournament takes place without fans in attendance, it will allow organisers to consider using limited venues to make things more practical from a logistical point of view.

Single or limited venues could save the IPL on costs to offset the lack of gate takings and reduce production expense, but limited venues also means that pitches will be reused more than is ideal. It seems as though the benefits of limiting grounds used will outweigh pitch considerations.

Cricket played in front of no live fans is not the ideal, especially for the IPL in which games are regularly sold-out, and the atmosphere adds to the experience. Still, the reality is that most cricketers are accustomed to playing the game in front of only a handful of people.

In the immediate future, if the business of cricket is to limit its losses during the pandemic boards will have to find a way for the show to go on as a TV-only event.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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