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Ramiz Raja calls for resumption of cricket behind closed doors

The former opener claimed that the intensity of the virus was more in the west than in the east

Ramiz Raja calls for resumption of cricket behind closed doors PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s former cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja, in a YouTube video on Wednesday, called for a resumption of cricket behind closed doors.

The 57-year-old urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to start the dialogue in order to pave the way for cricket’s return, albeit behind closed doors.

“We all know that coronavirus has brought life to a standstill. Unless a vaccine can be created, we can only defeat it through social distancing and precautionary measures. Pakistan is trying to start industries in a bid to start the economy again. No country can survive in a perpetual lockdown. This would be a disaster. I believe the cricket industry needs to re-open as well,” said Raja. 

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“I think the PCB should work with its fellow boards to generate activities behind closed doors. The fans are thirsty for cricket. They have been stuck at homes on lockdown. Getting cricket activities in their homes would be a great option for everyone,” he added.

The former opener also claimed that the intensity of the virus was more in the west than in the east.

“The intensity of the virus in the east is not as much as the west. The PCB can take the first step in initiating this conversation. Any cricket board, no matter how rich, cannot keep paying salaries in a perpetual lockdown situation. We need dialogue and planning to start cricket again,” he said.

Raja believed that the PCB should follow the example of Cricket Australia (CA) which was mulling over options to hold the upcoming Test series with India behind closed doors.

“Australia is already talking about its series with India. They are trying to hold five Test matches behind closed doors. Pakistan too can start planning about the future. The mindset to restart everything is already being made and cricket should also be started again. If fans cannot attend then holding it behind closed doors is an option,” he concluded.