Will there be any international cricket Tests in 2020?
With coronavirus running riot across the sporting world, cricket fans are worried – and understandably so. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has already been suspended until April 15, and it will be no surprise to see that ban extended further. So, does this mean we will not see any international cricket test matches in 2020?
Of all the sports in the world, test cricket is among those most under threat by the virus. Why? Because of the length of each match. Boxing matches last for up to 12 three-minute rounds, rugby stops after 80 minutes sharp, and an NFL match consists of four 15-minute quarters. But a cricket test match is staggered over up to five days.
Unfortunately, that means it’s really tough to see test cricket being played any time soon. The longer players or fans are in close proximity to one another, the greater the risk of them contracting coronavirus. With up to five days per match, that’s a risk cricketing authorities will not take lightly.
Following football’s example
Before you start thinking cricket is too big a sport to just shut up shop, take a look at the footballing world. The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia went ahead in spite of bribery accusations. And the 2022 World Cup in Qatar shows no signs of letting up, despite damning reports on workers’ human rights.
Clearly, football’s leading authorities have no problems hosting competitions in the face of public uproar. But even UEFA have yielded to the COVID-19 crisis, delaying UEFA 2020 by a full year. With tickets already sold for the 24-team competition – which was to be held across 12 international cities – the move will cost UEFA hundreds of millions.
In fact, the dilemma may be out of cricket’s hands, because travel bans are already being put in place across the world. The U.S. has closed its borders to non-essential travel from Canada and the U.K., with many other flights also being suspended. India, the home of the IPL, currently has a ban on flights from the U.K., all of the E.U., and Turkey. Plus, all commercial flights have been suspended.
If things remain as they are, it may not even be possible for international test cricket to proceed. After all, if players can’t get on the same field, what can the players do about it?
How long will coronavirus affect cricket?
Reports on how long the coronavirus will continue to affect sports players vary widely. The most popular football league in the world, the English Premier League (EPL), is aiming to have the season completed by June 30. Elsewhere, scientists have stated that we might not be rid of coronavirus for 18 months or longer. At the moment, we simply don’t know.
So, what does this mean for international test cricket? For one thing, players may struggle to train together. Just think about some of the 62 foreign players that moved to the IPL in time for 2020. Australia’s Pat Cummins, Chris Morris of South Africa, and Kings XI Punjab signing Glenn Maxwell are just a handful of the big names based in India. If they’re unable to travel, they won’t be able to train for international test cricket matches with their fellow countrymen.
With so many unknowns, seasoned gamblers will be turning their eyes to cricket betting tips on international leagues. The lack of training between international cricket teams – and the potential empty stadiums they may have to play in – could mean quite a few upsets. And where there’s room for an upset, there’s an opportunity to back a team at enticing odds. Keeping a close eye on this situation as it develops could pay off big time.
©Cricket World 2020