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Challenges COVID-19 Pandemic Poses to the Cricketing World

The future pictures of cricket look grim. First of all, it’s the IPL, the biggest cricketing league in the world which is under threat. Here we look at the possible challenge that the cricket world faces in Coronavirus Pandemic.

Ritik Goel
Last updated: 21.04.2020
Challenges in Cricket due to Coronavirus Pandemic | Sports Social Blog

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The world has never seen anything quite like the Coronavius before which is holding the world by its throat. It has killed lakhs of people worldwide and much like the great poet Pablo Neruda predicted in his poetry, ‘Keeping Quiet’, the world has come to a standstill, no arms and no engines are moving and we are gathered together in a strange, sudden silence.


Well, it’s reasonable to expect that cricket won’t be the first thing on our minds but there is an old cliche in the sporting world, “sport is the most important of the lesser important things.” So, we all our expecting we could soon see come cricket with high hopes of seeing Virat Kohli’s masterful run-chases, Rohit’s pull shot, Babar Azam’s cover drive, Steve Smith’s fidgety actions on the crease, Andre Russel’s power or sight of MS Dhoni if he decides to play after the pandemic ends.



The future pictures of cricket look grim. First of all, it’s the IPL, the biggest cricketing league in the world which is under threat. The concern is even if the situation stabilizes in India, whether IPL happens or not will depend upon how the situation is in other countries because it is unreasonable to expect that IPL can be staged only with the Indian players. There sure are possibilities of a shortened IPL or IPL staged in places like Sri Lanka or the Caribbean where the outbreak is not as serious as it is in other countries. But once again there will be question marks on the availability of players. Another key question the IPL organizers will have to answer will be that of the window for the tournament. If cricket does resume, it will be unfair or perhaps wrong to hold the IPL when leagues like the CPL will be in progress. There are doubts around holding the IPL in place of Asia Cup because it will be way too difficult to convince the Pakistan Cricket Board which is the official host of the Asia Cup 2020. All and all, the possibility of an IPL this year looks really grim.


The biggest tournament of the year was supposed to be the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in October-November. Although it’s still some time away and the world shall have controlled the pandemic by then but with Australia imposing a travel ban for 6 months, there are more challenges than one. The ban may well be relaxed for foreign players and the ICC officials have said that they can manage to organise the tournament within 15 days of the lifting of the ban. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The World economy is in its worst phase since the Great Depression of the 1930s and in such cash crunch, it will be difficult to kick start the tournament from a financial point of view straight away. What about the crowds? Will they have money to spend on tickets when they can’t buy food for 2 times a day? Will the economy have recovered enough to facilitate the start of the tournament? Will the people be brave enough to give up social distancing straight away? What if there is a second wave of the virus? Never has such uncertainty hovered around the cricketing world. We can keep our fingers crosses because World Cups is what players and fans live for.


The last thing which is under clouds is the World Test Championship, a much-anticipated step to revive test cricket. Well, it will be highly rational to assume that the final of the championship due to take place at Lord’s in June 2021 will be postponed. The reason is several test series have been canceled or postponed and several are on the verge of postponement. It is unfair to finalize the points table when some teams have played a major proportion of their scheduled series and some have not played even half of them. Moreover, the English season ends in September and if the test championship final has to be staged in England, it will have to be postponed by at least one year because cricket cannot happen in winter in England. Once the pandemic is over, it will be an administrative nightmare for ICC to work out the permutations and combinations and stage so many series in such a short space of time. So test cricket which is already under so much scrutiny finds itself delving deeper into trouble.


Well, a lot of players have lost their contracts with English counties for this season. The Hundred which was expected to revolutionize English Cricket is facing uncertainty and we have not even talked about ODI and T20I bilateral series yet. Clearly, bilateral series is last on the to-do list of the ICC as there are far more important things to organize. Cricket is loved deeply in all the major nations it is played. They will want the national boards to do anything they can to stage the tournaments once the coronavirus situation becomes stable.


Well, cricket, like everything in the world has taken a serious hit in this nightmarish time. Nobody could imagine cricket could go through so many challenges all of a sudden. It was all unprecedented too. There we were, gearing up for the opening clash of the IPL between the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians and a few days later, here we are, locked in our houses reliving old cricketing encounters. Things have taken a dramatic turn.


We can only hope and do the needful by taking precautionary measures, staying home and practicing social distancing. We must thank our hospital staff and police personnel for putting their lives at stake to save their countries. It is a bad time and a bad time passes. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones.


Humanity will emerge victoriously and surely, cricket will reunite people around the world once again.

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