Cricket commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle has stated that a cancellation of the 2020 edition of the IPL under prevailing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina badly. India are yet to sort out their squad for the T20I World Cup in October.
The IPL, which is commonly touted for its lucrative financial deals for the players, is one of the tournaments where, in the past, players around the country stage have staged an entry or a comeback into the national team. That is the case for Dhawan and Raina, both experienced campaigners who have lost their place in the side to thriving youngsters like KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer.
While Dhawan would’ve wanted the IPL to showcase his skills as a left-handed opener after a succession of injuries, Raina would’ve hoped to spark a reminder in the minds of the selectors. However, given that the coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down — having already infected nearly 700,000 people and killed at least 30,000 — the 13th edition of the IPL may be called-off entirely.
“For a lot of players who don’t get India as a stage, the IPL is a stage to tell people who they are or were. There’s the class of 2004 led by the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina. He’s (Dhawan) is at that crossroad point — still very much wanted but in T20 cricket, India have Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open. He’s saying, don’t look beyond this left-hander just yet. Then, there’s Raina, who hasn’t played since the last IPL but is just about staying alive,” Bhogle said on Cricbuzz’s Voice of Cricket.
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