Cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar has urged people not to jump the gun and wait for a few months as he reckons that India deserves, at least a chance, to host the event if everything turns out fine. He cited the example of Australia and how they hosted India despite active COVID cases in the country.
India has been struggling in the last few months, owing to the second wave of the novel Coronavirus that has sent many cities into a complete lockdown. Even the 2021 IPL was indefinitely postponed, owing to the positive cases in the bio-bubble, and now it will be reportedly hosted in the month of September-October, albeit, in the Middle East. Given the present circumstances in the country, it has been widely speculated that this year's T20 World Cup will not be staged in India as it can put the whole tournament into jeopardy.
Notably, the last edition of the T20 World Cup was supposed to be hosted in Australia in 2020, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar accepted that the country is going through a difficult time due to the deadly virus. However, he added that given India has, in the past, defeated such viruses, and the World Cup is still a few months away, it gives confidence that they can host the tournament.
"Yes, India is going through a horrific time with the virus spread but there’s still more than four months to go for the mega event. More and more people are getting vaccinated and more and more cities and states are active in trying to control the spread. In a country with a population as huge as India it is next to impossible to eradicate a disease but India in the past has combated successfully the SARS as well as bird flu," Gavaskar wrote for Sportstar.
"While some may argue that those were chicken feed diseases compared to COVID-19, the fact that India had controlled the first wave magnificently does give the confidence that the country can do it again but may take a little longer to do so."
The renowned cricket expert also went on to cite the example of Australia and emphasized how they hosted India, earlier this year, and even the Australian Open, even when there were active COVID cases in the country.
"The Aussies had no compunction in going ahead with the money spinning India tour even in cities where they had active COVID cases and again, whether it’s a few hundred compared to hundred thousand cases, the fact is nobody in Australia suggested that the India tour be called off. Not only that, even the Australian Open tennis tournament went ahead despite active COVID cases in Melbourne," he said.
He urged people to similarly give India a chance to host the tournament if the situation improves in the country or else suggested that it can be moved to the Middle East.
"So all that is asked for is a similar sympathetic consideration from all those who are trying to take it away from India. If the situation does not improve by August end then by all means take it to the UAE, the standby location for the event, but please don’t jump the gun now. UAE has shown in the recent past that it can handle big events and will definitely do a great job of hosting it. That should not be a surprise especially to the Aussies as they have seen earlier in the year that even standbys can pack a punch. But please give India a chance as much as you gave your country to hold big events earlier in the year. That is only fair to the country that pays a substantial part of your annual income."