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Cricket will not be the same post Covid-19: Zaheer Abbas

The 72-year-old was hopeful about Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England while stating that it could be the start for the return of cricket

Cricket will not be the same post Covid-19: Zaheer Abbas PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas, while talking to SportsStar from Karachi, stated that Cricket will not be the same in the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic that has brought the entire globe to a standstill.

The 72-year-old was hopeful about Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England while stating that it could be the start for the return of cricket.

“Of course, it will not be the same. But they should go and play because it will at least be good for their fitness and there will be some action. There is still a 50-50 chance. If things improve and if the government feels that the situation is under control and its safe for teams to travel, then Pakistan may go ahead with its tour to England. It could be a smaller affair, but at least things will start somewhere,” said Abbas.

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He also believed that even closed-door games would be valuable for people watching at home during these hard times.

“The games should start if the coronavirus is under control and the deaths are not increasing. Even if they don’t allow the crowd to come to the ground, the game will be watched by people on television all over the world. In such times, it will actually give people something to talk about. It will be a motivation for other countries, too, to start cricket,” Abbas said.

“The boards are losing money, and if things improve and the series begins, there could at least be some cricket. But of course, it all depends on how the situation pans out over the next couple of months,” he added.

The legendary former batsman stated that cricket boards around the world were losing money and these games could provide a revenue stream for them.

“It’s not ideal. But the boards are losing money, so if the action resumes (even without crowd), at least some money will come in (through television rights). At the moment, it’s very unpredictable. You don’t know what will happen, but I think this is what the England cricket board will try to do,” the cricketing legend said.

“With lockdown, more people will watch the games on television all over the world — be it the Pakistanis, the English fans or the cricket enthusiasts across the globe…”

Abbas added that the players will be able to adapt to these crowd-less conditions because they know it is just a temporary measure.

 “They have been away from the game for a while, so how they will fare - is something that will be on their mind. Even if they play in empty grounds, they will be fully prepared (mentally). They also know that is just happening for the time being, and there will soon be a time when the fans will be back in the stands,” he concluded.