Aamir Sohail
Aamir Sohail Image Credit: AFP

Former Pakistan batsman Aamer Sohail feels it would be better to postpone the T20 World Cup as playing matches in empty stadiums will not only take the charm away but also not be financially beneficial.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 15 but has been shrouded in doubt due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Playing an event like the T20 World Cup in empty stadiums will not only take away the charm of the whole event but it will also not bring benefits to the home country’s service sector as no spectators will travel to Australia,” Sohail wrote in his blog for PakPassion.net.

“There is very little point in having the T20 World Cup under such conditions and it’s right that the ICC is taking its time to carefully deliberate the rescheduling of this event. If we recall, back in 1992, the World Cup took place as late as March in Australia so there is plenty of time for the ICC to reschedule the T20 World Cup.

“I feel the best way forward for the ICC would be to let all the sides know that the tournament is being deferred to March 2021 to allow them to prepare in advance. If God forbid, the coronavirus pandemic is still a threat at that time then the tournament can be delayed further as playing a World Cup in front of empty stadiums would be a travesty.”

Sohail also expressed his dismay regarding the ban of use of saliva to shine match balls put forward by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“I do believe that the ICC technical committee should have done a better job of taking decisions to help the game at this point in time,” said the 53-year old who has played 47 Tests and 156 ODIs for Pakistan.

“I specifically refer to the ban on using saliva to shine the ball which will have a huge affect on the ability of bowlers to swing the ball.

“Now saliva by nature is heavier than sweat and it does help in making the ball a little heavier on one side and it also has some enzymes which help in lubricating and providing shine to the ball.

“With this ability to shine the ball taken away, the ICC should have considered other means of helping the bowlers such as allowing the new ball to be taken after 60 overs instead of the current limit of 80 overs. In addition, the use of artificial saliva which is used for people who are diabetic could have been explored as well. If we are asking players to risk their lives by playing cricket during the coronavirus pandemic, then it makes no sense for the ICC technical committee to pay scant regard to making the game even in terms of the ball and bat.”