Like the rest of the activities in the world, sports also has come to a ghastly standstill. The coronavirus pandemic has ran havoc on the sporting calendar as people have started craving for a glimpse of live sporting actions.
But nothing is going in favour of the fans as countries are going on with their plans to extend their respective lockdowns. Athletes also are finding it tough after being out of action for almost 8 weeks now.
Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, who was in conversation with India Today’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai on Monday, talked on length about the road ahead for sports. He minced no words and said recovery from the affect of the pandemic will not be an easy job.
“Officials of all the various sporting federations would certainly be banging their heads together to find a solution and I am sure there are many intelligent people in there to be able to come up with some sort of a solution which will keep everybody happy but it’s not gonna be easy,” Gavaskar said.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator said the halt in sports has affected the fans as well as the athletes. Gavaskar said that the highlights of old matches can just fill a temporary void and can not solve the real problem.
“Certainly yes. the way things are going we might not be able to see any live sport for maybe 4-5 months. that’s gonna be tough not just on the current players but also those who follow sport. there are so many fans of different sports.”
“For them to be able to only look at the old action after a time it gets boring, for nostalgia you can go back and see what happened earlier but actually you wanna see live sport be it on tv or ground and for that not being able to be seen till September that’s a worrying thing and i am pretty certain that the officials of all the sports are planning plan a, b, c to get over this period of uncertainly,” the former batsman asserted.
The topic of closed door matches has created all sort of buzz once the coronavirus started transcending the national boundaries. There have been suggestions about holding the IPL and T20 World Cup also behind closed doors, but Gavaskar think that could be the last resort.
“I think that’s gonna be absolutely the last resort otherwise you know when you can’t have absolutely anyone at the ground only then you should play without crowds. Every performer likes to perform in front of a crowd which appreciates the skills and temperament. Same in theatre. So i think it’s not gonna be easy on the performers as well. Players also want to do the high fives and hugs,” Sunil Gavaskar opined.
A solution in this case is a must and Sunil Gavaskar can think of nothing other than discovery of a vaccine. Gavaskar said vaccines will bring the fans sooner to the stadiums.
“The only solution that i can think of is the vaccine being discovered very very quickly. If that happens maybe we might be able to get some fans in the stands by the end of the year. We are still about 7 months away so it’s still possible to do so. But you don’t even know who does not have the Covid-19. You could be sitting at 10 feet away from somebody but something can still be transferred. I mean even if you go to the ground and are sitting at a fair distance you won’t have the sense of comfort that you’d feel unless you were certain you are safe.”
Talking about his life in the coronavirus lockdown, Sunil Gavaskar said he was actually enjoying it and would have not minded it more if his entire family was with him. Gavaskar also revealed that his current weight is close to the one he had in his debut series in 1971.
“Basically i have been taking it a bit easy, waking up late, catching up on a bit of breeding. Then in the evenings i go for a walk on my terrace and i could tell you that you will be surprised to know that i have almost come down to my debut series weight – just 0.03 kgs more than what my weight was when i made my debut. Also the fact that because of the restrictions, your diets are also restricted. Some tv serials or sth like that in the evening. Just pretty happy to be staying at home actually.”
“In the ultra slow lane (living life in). I would be very happy if my entire family was here with me but that’s not the case. But thankfully with all these new contraptions you can actually see each other and talk to each other so that’s a big plus as well,” Gavaskar concluded.