Pat Cummins feels discussions to shift the T20 World Cup from India to the UAE are premature. The Australian believes any decision on the ICC event needs to keep in mind the interests of the Indian people.
With IPL 2021 halted abruptly due to the surging COVID-19 cases, there are doubts about India’s ability to hold the T20 World Cup in October-November. The UAE has been touted as a possible alternative, with a decision to be taken by the ICC in a few months.
Pat Cummins spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald and was asked whether he felt the T20 World Cup should be moved from India to the UAE.
“It is probably too early to say. It’s six months away. The priority should be for cricket authorities to work with the Indian government to see what’s best for the Indian people. If it’s going to be a drain on resources or it’s not going to be safe, then I don’t think it’s right to play it over here. That’s the first question which needs to be answered,” Cummins said.
With COVID-19 breaching IPL 2021’s bio-bubbles, many have slammed authorities for hosting the competition in India. IPL 2020 was hosted immaculately in the UAE last year, and several believe the BCCI missed the trick by not hosting the tournament there again.
But Pat Cummins conceded the decision is easier to make in hindsight, as he pointed out how there are two sides to the argument.
“The IPL in the UAE last year was brilliant, it was really well run, but millions of people were saying it should have been played in India, so what do you do? You can see both sides. They set up this tournament with all the best advice,” Cummins stated.
Pat Cummins admits playing in IPL 2021 was not the easiest decision
The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer has been quite vocal about the COVID-19 situation in India. Pat Cummins admitted he found it tough to keep going at a time when Indians outside the bio-bubble were reeling under a disastrous second wave of the pandemic.
“I’ve felt quite helpless and quite detached from it all being kept in comfortable hotels. We were playing games and training like every other year. It just felt that I should be doing more for the people around us,” Cummins explained.
The BCCI was criticized for holding IPL 2021 while health authorities and Indian citizens struggled to grapple with the virus. Appeals to call off IPL 2021 were made several times on social media as well. However, Pat Cummins believes there were advantages to holding IPL 2021 at a time like this.
“The first thing I wanted to do was make sure playing the IPL was the right call. Speaking to people back home, some had the view that it didn’t see right cricket was going on over here in amongst all the COVID cases. But the response I was getting from people in India was the opposite. They all said that with so many people in lockdown they really appreciate the fact that for three or four hours each night they can watch the IPL. It gives people a routine, it helps to keep them in their homes. Everyone thought it was a positive the IPL was still going on,” Cummins said.
Pat Cummins set the ball rolling when he announced a $50,000 donation to help India’s COVID-19 relief efforts while encouraging others to do the same. Pat Cummins explained what prompted him to make the humanitarian gesture.
“I wondered what could I do? India has been so good to me for so long as a player. The people are amazing. I wanted to try and help out and give back a little bit,” Cummins concluded.
Pat Cummins is currently quarantining in the Maldives after departing from India. The Australian fast-bowler will spend time in the region before Australia open up their borders for India returnees.