Cummins up for playing IPL

Afp, London

11 April, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Australian pace bowling star Pat Cummins says he is prepared to play in the Indian Premier League behind closed doors as it would restore a degree of "normality" into daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 26-year-old ICC Test player of the year -- he took 59 wickets in 12 Tests -- told the BBC that it would mean fans could at least watch some live sport at home.

The IPL season was postponed from March 29 until April 15 because of the pandemic, although the expectation is the tournament will be either delayed again or even cancelled should the lockdown in India be extended.

Another problem for Cummins and his compatriots is there are restrictions on Australians travelling overseas.

The two-month tournament -- Cummins is contracted to the Kolkata Knight Riders -- is a huge revenue earner.

The Twenty20 competition is estimated to generate more than $11 billion for the Indian economy and involves cricket's top international stars like England's Ben Stokes, Australia's David Warner and Indian captain Virat Kohli.

"Of course -- whatever it takes to try and get cricket up and play those big events safely," said Cummins in answer to whether he would welcome playing in front of empty stands.

"The first priority is safety but the second one is getting back to normality.

"It's finding that balance. If that unfortunately means no crowds for a while then that's that but hopefully people can watch at home on television."

Cummins's outstanding 2019 was recognised on Wednesday when he was named one of the five cricketers of the year by Wisden.


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