Sydney, March 27 (IANS) Australian players form a big part of the Indian Premier League and coach Justin Langer has revealed that he was keen to see his boys go out and use the cash-rich league as a preparation ground for the World T20 at the end of the year. But things have now taken an unplanned turn with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Before this crisis started to unravel, we were absolutely determined for our guys to play the IPL,” Langer was quoted as saying by foxsports.co.au.
“Because with the T20 World Cup coming up, there’s no better grounding, no better practice, no better tournament for them to get ready for that.
“But obviously things have changed a lot. The health of not only our individual players, but also our country and India as a whole is paramount here.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He said this is an essential step to fight coronavirus decisively. He added that saving lives is priority as of now.
“With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are,” said Prime Minister Modi. He added that he is mindful of the economic ramifications of it. However, this is a smaller concern.
PM Modi warned, that if the citizens don’t follow a complete lockdown for the coming 21 days, the nation will go back 21 years and many families will be devastated.
The outbreak has seen the suspension of all sporting activities and that has also put the fate of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League in the balance. The Sports Ministry has made it clear that the fate of the IPL can be decided only after the government comes out with a fresh advisory after April 15, keeping in mind the situation with regards to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju reiterated that while it is the BCCI which decides on cricketing matters, the pandemic is something which has a direct effect on the loves of the citizens of the country.