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Miandad backs idea to resume cricket behind closed doors

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ISLAMABAD-Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad Tuesday put his weight behind the idea of resuming cricket activities behind closed doors and asked cricket boards to find a way to hold activities during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown period.

Playing without fans was suggested by some cricketers recently as one possible option to resume cricket and Miandad, who never hesitates to express his opinion on important cricketing matters also echoed similar sentiments on the issue. “They say ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’. Today’s world has changed [due to coronavirus], so we need to adapt this change and think differently.

“We need to move on according to the requirements of time, only then we’ll be successful. I’ll suggest the cricket boards to hold activities behind closed doors for broadcast while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact,” Miandad said and added: “This will provide much needed boost to players’ morale besides offering something to fans to rejoice during the shutdown period.”

The erstwhile batting great said though restrictions were being eased around the globe but reopening venues for crowds would not be possible till the time the number of infections see a significant reduction. “Currently, it’s unclear when fans will be able to attend events as no vaccine or reliable drug has been developed yet to cure the pandemic. I feel lifting restrictions completely will be delayed further. Hence, we’ll have to think out-of-the-box. “True, playing in empty stadiums will not be as that attractive as performing in front of jam-packed audience, but the other aspect of the picture is that broadcasting numbers will be massive.”

According to Miandad at a time when the coronavirus had hit economies across the world, holding of events behind closed doors would help boards generate enough money to run their own affairs smoothly. “During our era, boards used to generate money through crowds. But today the major chunk of amount comes through sponsors and not through crowds. Hence, no issue if the crowd is not there. You carry on cricket [activities] as you need money,” added the 62-year-old Miandad, who scored 8,832 runs in 124 Tests and 7,381 in 233 ODIs for Pakistan between 1975 and 1996.

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