Despite managing to avoid the curse of Corona Virus or Covid-19 for a long time, the cricket world and the cricket calendar has finally suffered the crippling effect of this global health problem. The T20I series between Asia XI vs World XI, which was supposed to be played in order to celebrate the centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of Bangladesh independence, has been postponed.
Many top stars of world cricket were expected to take part in the event including India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli. The two T20I matches were supposed to be played on March 21 and 22 in Dhaka. This was to follow a concert featuring Indian music maestro AR Rahman. But with Corona Virus having reached the subcontinent and spreading, the event had to be put off for the time being.
Speaking on the issue, the chief of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), said: "We had two options in our hand. We were supposed to hold a concert on the 18th. We initially had plans to do it on a small scale. But we have decided to do it in a grand manner. That's why we have decided to defer it for the moment, and not do it on a small scale. It will not take place on the 18th. When the situation improves, we will hold it in grand fashion," the BCB President told mediapersons.
Other sports suffering due to COVID-19
Cricket is only one of the many sports that have been seriously afflicted by the rapid spread of COVID-19. In the field of badminton, the governing authority of the sport, BWF, had to cancel several events including two World Tour tournaments. The cancelling of China Open was expected due to its venue but even tournaments in Europe faced the axe.
There were several doubts as to whether the All England Open would also take place but thankfully, the tournament wasn't postponed and it is already underway. Another important badminton tournament – India Open – will also take place but, in an unprecedented act, spectators won't be allowed inside the stadium to keep the players and other officials safe.
Precautions being taken by cricketers
The ODI series that begins between India and South Africa tomorrow will also see the players taking many precautions. The South African team have decided to avoid handshakes while players of both teams would not use their saliva to shine the ball. Authorities have also asked the players to not touch the phones of spectators for selfies.
With the World T20 just a few months away, these two matches between Asia XI and World XI would have been quite beneficial for the players involved. It would be interesting to see whether they take place in the future, as the organisers want, or, are cancelled altogether.