With cricket scheduled to return during May, it would be easy to think that everything was returning to normal in the world of bowling, bats and boundaries. However, this is not the case at all.
As with all sporting industries across the globe, cricket has been majorly affected by the coronavirus situation. There have been a number of important events postponed or even cancelled, and now that the sport is returning, there are inevitably going to have to be some changes in how we do things.
How has coronavirus impacted the sport?
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the cricketing world. Over the past months, the sport has essentially ground to a halt. There has been little to no cricket played over the past couple of month’s, and on top of that players have only been able to train sparingly – often alone or just in small groups.
The fact that large portions of the world have been in ‘lockdown’ has impacted the sport in the present, but will also no doubt impact the sport moving forward. For example, with players not being able to train properly, it remains to be seen what levels they will return at – there could be a drop in quality while players get back up to speed and re-engage with competitive cricket.
What major cricket events have been postponed or cancelled?
- Bangladesh v Australia, two-Test series – postponed
- Pakistan Super League fixtures in Karachi (March 13-10) – no spectators
- Everest Premier League (March 14-28) – postponed
- India v South Africa ODI series (March 15-18) – no spectators
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League A (March 16-26) – postponed
- European Cricket Series events in Montjuïc, Spain (March 16-20, 23-27) – postponed
- Asia XI vs World XI T20s in Bangladesh (March 21 & 22) – postponed
- Thailand women’s quadrangular ODI series with Ireland, Netherlands and Zimbabwe (April 3-11) – cancelled
- Australia Women tour to South Africa (March 22-April 4) – postponed
- Indian Premier League (beginning March 29) – postponed (until April 15)
- India v South Africa ODIs – no spectators
- Karachi PSL games – no spectators
- European Cricket Series, Spain (March 16-20, 23-27) – postponed
- Japan national trials (March 14, 15, 22) – postponed
- Cricket World Cup League 2 (April 1-8) – postponed
- All Belgium Cricket Federation activities – postponed
- England tour to Sri Lanka – postponed
- Pakistan Super League – no spectators, 10 players leave
- Pakistan Super League – playoffs restructured
- India v South Africa ODIs (March 15, 18) – cancelled to be rearranged
- World Cup League Two (April 1-8) – postponed
- Bangladesh tour of Pakistan (April 1-9) – postponed
- Over-50s World Cup (March 11-24) – cancelled
- All South Africa cricket – postponed
- Pakistan v Bangladesh ODI/Test – postponed
- Pakistan Super League finals – postponed
- All cricket in Australia – cancelled
- English professional season – delayed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A – Asia – Host Kuwait (April 16-21) – postponed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub- Regional Qualifier– Africa – Host South Africa (April 27-May 3) – postponed
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 – Host Namibia (April 20-27) – postponed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A – Europe – Host Spain (May 16-22) – postponed
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 – Host PNG (June 9-16) – postponed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier C – Europe – Host Belgium (June 10-16) – postponed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B – Asia – Host Malaysia (June 26- July 2) – postponed
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B – Europe- Host Finland (June 24-30) – postponed
- South Africa tour of Sri Lanka – postponed
Source: The Cricketer
On top of the above, there are still many people anxiously waiting to hear what is going to happen with other cricketing events that were originally scheduled to take place in 2020. One of the key decisions is yet to be made, and that is to decide the fate of the IPL – fans across the globe are waiting patiently for the return of their favourite sport.
Given the popularity of the IPL, and the growth it has seen over such a sustained period of time – there are a whole host of stakeholders who are impacted by the imminent return – a couple of which are outlined below. The IPL is ones of the most bet on events in the world, with punters from across the globe having a flutter. This isn’t just because of its popularity, but also because of how tight and competitive the competition is – The Sunrisers are 4/1, Indians are 4/1, Super Kings 5/1, and Capitals 7/1 – a market that is extremely tight at the top with no outright favourite. In a competition that is almost too tight to call, Indian cricket betting is a bookmakers dream, as the almost identical odds for the top 4 in the market mean their books are safe – that said, punters won’t be worried.
The return of cricket – who will it impact most?
For players, the return of cricket as a sport will be much of the same. The rules and regulations that govern the game remain consistent. However, the noticeable difference will be with everything that sits around being out on the cricket pitch. We have seen with the recent return of the Bundesliga, that the game is the same – throw-ins, tackles and headers all occur as normal, but what has been clear is that the players are impacted when it comes to pre-match build-up and celebrations.
Without doubt, fans will be those most impacted now that cricket is returning. Although fans will be jubilant that the game they love is returning to the TV screens – they will be extremely disappointed that they will not be able to attend games. As with many sports, a lot of cricket fans are also cricket players (at an amateur level). This whole situation will also leave many amateur cricketers wondering if they will be able to pick up a bat and ball this summer.