Don’t see any cricket being played for next one year: Akhtar

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Pakistani former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. (File Photo: IANS)

LAHORE:  Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has said he doesnt see cricketing activities taking place for the next 12 months as the entire world battles with COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you ask me honestly, I don’t know for how long the coronavirus outbreak will last, until and unless it is not known that how many people are infected, one cannot go ahead with any kind of cricket anywhere,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

“I do not see cricket being played for at least a year due to the coronavirus. I see the virus troubling us for one year, these are troublesome times and I just hope we come out of this stronger,” he added.

The Rawalpindi Express further said that amid the coronavirus outbreak, it is necessary for people to maintain social distancing and that’s why he is also off the view that whenever cricket resumes, use of saliva for shining the cricket ball should not be allowed so as to stop the spread of the virus.

“I don’t think that one can apply saliva on the ball now, we as bowlers apply saliva on the ball to make the ball shinier, the ball goes in the hands of everyone on the park, I saw a report of the ICC which said bowlers would not be able to apply saliva on the ball, Akhtar said.

“Cricket is a game which requires contact, if ICC is thinking about passing the law related to applying saliva on the ball, then I welcome the decision keeping coronavirus in mind,” he added.

The 44-year-old Akhtar had recently proposed an India-Pakistan bilateral series to raise funds in fight against the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed more than 1.7 lakh lives across the world, a spate of series and tournaments, including the IPL 2020, Australia’s tour of Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s tour of Ireland have been postponed indefinitely.

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