Aakash Chopra explains effects of sports' global suspension on people's lives

All sporting activities remain indefinitely postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cricket has had all its immediate fixtures affected by the outbreak | GettyFormer India Test batsman-turned-commentator, Aakash Chopra, explained the adverse effect of indefinite suspension of cricket and all other sporting activities amid COVID-19 pandemic on those who have their livelihoods dependent over it. 

Chopra said sports is not just an on-field thing, but an industry, the sooner resumption of which is extremely important to many people's survival. He cited the strongest example from cricket of the IPL 2020 to stress his point. 

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"Sport is slightly low on the priority list, yes of course. But then it is an industry that has to open up at some stage, because there are lots and lots and lots of people whose livelihoods are dependent on it. If sports starts then only the wheel moves," Chopra told the Times of India

"If it doesn't start then, I might be ok to live with it for some time, but there are quite a few people who won't be able to. So for example, if the IPL does not happen, lots of people have their EMIs etc based on the income they were supposed to get from the IPL. There are lots of people who are getting affected."

"There will be efforts made, without compromising the medical facilities or your ability to treat people, to start sport. But, as and when you can, you should try to, because this is also an industry like any other, which is looking after a lot of people's livelihood," he added. 

Outside India, where the BCCI is perhaps strong enough financially to deal with this phase, various cricket boards are suffering heavy losses because of the postponement of all their immediate international and domestic fixtures. 

Aware of the situation, Chopra is hoping for the cricket fraternity to come together and fight this crisis collectively. 

"I'm not worried about the future of cricket," he said. "I'm fairly optimistic that things will eventually turn out ok. That's the beauty of humanity. We find a way to bounce back. Yes, I understand there are financial losses, a lot of people will take a hit. But does that mean cricket will be wiped off the face of the planet? No, that's not going to happen."

"There is no reason for everybody to not get together and figure out a way that everybody is at least floating and not drowning. That is something I'm very optimistic about."

"Everyone will get together and figure out a way - let sports not die, let's make less money, let's play more, if that's something that is needed. Let's help the broadcasters, let's help the Boards. This too shall pass," Chopra added. 

(Inputs from TOI)


By Kashish Chadha - 07 May, 2020

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