No point in playing matches without spectators
Muttiah Muralitharan is the Bowling Coach for Sunrisers Hyderabad
By BIPIN DANI
Hosting the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Sri Lanka may not be a reality, according to former legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offered to host the 13th edition of the IPL after the tournament was officially suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) until further notice amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The IPL had already been pushed back from its original start date of March 29 to April 15 and a further delay was inevitable after the government extended a three-week lockdown until at least May 3.
The offer to host the IPL matches came from SLC Chief Shammi Silva, who is confident that the pandemic would be eradicated from the country before India.
The IPL which began in 2008 is a huge revenue-earner for the BCCI and is estimated to generate more than US $11 billion a year for the Indian economy.
Muralitharan, who turned 48 yesterday, said: “It is at negotiation level but I don’t see it as a practical solution. The crisis should first be eradicated from the entire world, not only in Sri Lanka.”
“The players coming from foreign countries need to be quarantined for a few days and vaccinated. It involves a big risk factor and all foreign players should agree to come here.”
Muralitharan, who is also the Bowling Coach for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) IPL Team, welcomed Sri Lanka as the host country, if all these hurdles are overcome.
However, he doesn’t want the IPL matches to be played anywhere in empty stadiums.
“I see no point in playing matches without spectators. The game cannot survive without spectators. There is no charm then,” he added.
The players coming from foreign countries need to be quarantined for a few days and vaccinated. It involves a big risk factor and all foreign players should agree to come here