Kumar Sangakkara: IPL would carry a feeling that it's all back to normal
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Kumar Sangakkara: IPL would carry a feeling that it’s all back to normal


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Season 13 of the Indian Premier League is scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates from September 19 to November 8 due to the coronavirus crisis in India.

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara hailed the Indian Premier League and highlighted the tournament’s significance, particularly in these challenging times when the world is facing a deadly disease like Covid-19.

The 13th edition of the IPL is all set to be played in the United Arab Emirates from September 19 to November 8 due to India’s coronavirus crisis. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has tried to find a date for its famous domestic tournament after the ICC postponed Australia’s T20 World Cup 2020 to 2022 in October.

This will be the second time after 2014 that the tournament will be held in the UAE, which will not only improve the economy of that country but will also, give cricket fans a feeling that things are gradually returning to normal, according to Sangakkara, who held 6 IPL seasons.

“I believe that sport and the sports environment and its knock-on impact are related to all other economic activities. It is a big part of contributing to the prosperity of a country. IPL in particular and all other tours and tournaments, as we have seen providing not just a measurable economic gain but also a sense of mental and social health.

“It’s a sort of escapism when things are down and out in our part of the world over the years, when you watch a cricket match on TV or on the field, it kind of gives a illusion that everything is back to usual and then life is really stabilized,” Sangakkara said on the latest episode of India Today Inspiration.

IPL 2020 missed the deadline of March 29, after India had gone into a lockdown only 5 days before that, as Covid-19’s threat gradually spread throughout the world. Recently the condition has only worsened with the disease yet to hit its height here.

The BCCI took the tournament abroad for the third time after 2009 (South Africa) and 2014, when it was played in the UAE for the first half. This was pulled down on both occasions, as the times coincided with India’s general elections.

But this time the case is entirely different and in terms of sorting out the feasibility of getting it oversees the Indian board faces a big challenge. But Sangakkara is of the view that if it does go forward on the new dates, the IPL will address certain issues for a lot of people concerned with it.

“I now see the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on how cricket is played in bio-safe areas and in closed stadiums where there is little access for the public. But the fact that millions across the world have exposure to sporting spectacles via TV, streaming apps has a huge positive effect in terms of mentality, mental well-being, encouraging young people to take up this wonderful sport.

“And, as you said, everybody whose life is linked to this. It has a tremendous positive effect, not only the players, but even the service companies, the broadcasters and the media, also the groundsmen and groundswomen all over the world, everyone is linked.

“And especially, for the UAE, if the IPL is played there, its knock-on effect on the local economy there will be extremely huge. For the cricketers, and everyone connected to that, it will be a huge sigh of relief that, yes their livelihood is secure,” Sangakkara added.

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