Sunil Gavaskar: Improve Mushtaq Ali tourney standards, don't insult the man

Updated: Mar 21, 2020, 07:44 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Sunil Gavaskar also said that the fate of the IPL depends upon how quickly the spread of Coronavirus is controlled in the country.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the BCCI has taken the right decision to suspend the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. "The decision by the BCCI to suspend the IPL till April 15 is a laudable one. The health and safety of a nation are more important than sport and it's wonderful that the usually much-maligned BCCI has put that before anything else," Gavaskar wrote in a column for The Sportstar. The BCCI, on March 11, earlier put the IPL on hold till April 15 even though the tournament was set to start from March 29 after the government issued a travel advisory which made it clear that foreign players wouldn't be issued visas to come into the country.

Gavaskar also said that the fate of the IPL depends upon how quickly the spread of Coronavirus is controlled in the country. "Whether the IPL will be played at all depends on how quickly the spread of COVID-19 is controlled. Till April 15 overseas players won't get a visa so it may take a bit longer for the tournament to take off. Foreign players bring a different flavour to the tournament and add to the excitement, so it's important to have them," he said.

The former India skipper also lashed out at a BCCI official for the suggestion that they did not want IPL to be like a Mushtaq Ali tournament without the participation of foreign players. "Having said that, for a so-called top BCCI official to comment that "the BCCI has to ensure the quality of the game is not poor. We did not want a Mushtaq Ali tournament," is an incredibly insensitive statement if indeed it is true," wrote Gavaskar.

"Firstly, it's insulting to the great man after whom the tournament is named and secondly begs the question that if it's such a "poor" tournament, then why have it at all? "Also, can light be shed on why the quality of the tournament is poor? Surely it's not simply because there are no international players in it, but also because there are no Indian internationals in it! That is a scheduling issue that the BCCI has to look at," he added.

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