Mohammad Azharuddin, former Indian captain and current president of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), was delighted to see that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is finally going to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Excluding international cricket in England, the IPL 2020 starting on 19th September is the second major cricketing event after the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 to be held following the Coronavirus-forced hiatus since mid-March 2020.
There is no doubt that IPL is a money-making tournament for both BCCI and players, but in fact, the cash-rich tournament is also responsible for the livelihoods of many others too.
Well, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has already financially impacted the entire world including the sporting world also and Azharuddin is glad to see the IPL T20 carnival return since a lot of people's livelihoods depend on the Indian T20 league.
As the IPL teams have started to leave for the UAE with Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals already reaching Dubai, the former Indian skipper expressed gratitude towards the Gulf nation for hosting the lucrative T20 league amid the pandemic.
Azharuddin told IANS: “I think its good that IPL is going to start as we have seen multiple series taking place in England already with proper precautions. We should be thankful to the UAE government and their cricket board for inviting IPL as a lot of livelihoods depend on IPL taking place.”
He also reacted to the talks that the upcoming IPL 2020 would be last season for the recently-retired legend MS Dhoni who last week called time on his glittering over 15 years international career.
The 57-year-old added, “Retiring from international cricket and retiring from IPL are two different things. Dhoni may play IPL longer than we are assuming, so I don't think we have to worry about Dhoni's retirement as far as IPL is concerned.”
Paying tribute to Dhoni, he said: “Now when he is retiring from international cricket, I will like to congratulate him on having a superb career. No doubt he has done a lot for the country, all records and statistics are there to confirm that. All the major tournaments he has won will be remembered forever.”
Azharuddin signed off by saying, “So many people were saying so many things when he was not retiring but now when he is retired we need to congratulate him and wish him all the best for the future.”
(With IANS Inputs)