ISLAMABAD        -              Former speed star Shoaib Akhtar fears that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will continue hitting the sports events across the glove during the ongoing year and it would not be possible for cricket events to take place too.

The prestigious event is scheduled to be held in Australia later, this year. “If you ask me honestly as what will happen of cricket world. Currently, I don’t know how long this outbreak will last. [But] until it is not confirmed how many people are infected [by the virus], it’ll not be possible to hold any event,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

He said it seemed unlikely that any sort of cricketing activity would take place at least for a year. “I wish them best of luck. May Allah make it possible for cricket to take place. But I see this virus staying here up to one year and troubling us. When the world is confronted by such troublesome times, then how will cricket take place?” he questioned. “I don’t want to disappoint you. But this what I can see right now.”

According to the pandemic had also hit badly to several former and current cricketers, making it hard for them to survive. “We’ve several former and first-class cricketers as well as the people who are affiliated with us such as ground men. They are in desperate need of help at this critical time. My strong appeal to my friends, Pakistan Cricket Board and all the people is that there we need to pool in some money to help them. “I request all, please lend your hand with open hearts to these people,” he added.

He expressed the hope that the world would finally come out of the crisis and life would return to normalcy. “Sports will revive and employment will also increase. But please note these are difficult times. I request you all, please minimize your needs and give up the lavish life style for the time being to face these challenging times,” he insisted. Akhtar, 44 years old, said that he had seen a report of International Cricket Council (ICC) that it was considering not to allow bowlers to use saliva on the ball to make it shinier. “We as bowlers apply saliva on the ball to make it shinier. But I don’t think that one will be able to apply it on the ball anymore now.”  However, he was of the view that cricket was a contact and avoiding it [contact] completely was not possible.

He recalled that when swine flu erupted in 2009, he had raised the point that the use of saliva should be avoided, but his proposal was not taken seriously at that time.


“At that time, I was laughed at and my proposal was turned down. Now, the ICC is going to get passed this law [to ban use saliva]. I welcome this decision in view of the coronavirus,” he added.

Shoaib said that the ICC might allow players to use glycerin or any other substance similar to that to shine the ball. But he said again it would not be easier to totally avoid as players keep on perspiring during the match and they wipe their faces and arms with hands.