Australia coach Justin Langer says he sees the value in playing behind closed doors for upcoming cricket tours if they’re permitted by health authorities.
Cricket, like most sporting codes around the world, has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, with Australia’s three-match One Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand in March ended prematurely after one game, which itself was played in front of empty stands at the SCG.
New Zealand opted to head back to their homeland midway through the series after their national government announced 14-day compulsory self isolation rules for anyone returning from abroad.
The sporting world is currently grappling with a financial crisis and looking ahead to future tours and discussing possible options for them to go ahead to generate broadcast income, focusing on being played behind closed doors.
There’s been countless examples of athletes, coaches and staff being stood down or taking pay cuts amid the economic crisis that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused.
Australia will also play four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is against India during their summer which is also under threat, but Langer said he felt there was value in playing in empty stadiums to generate a TV product, if there was no health risk.
“We’re so fortunate to play in front of big crowds every time we play,” Langer said.
“For the love of the game and for still being able to entertain people through TV sets or radio, then there’s value in (playing behind closed doors).
“It’s different, but we’ll never, ever, ever take for granted how lucky we are ever again.”
“If medical experts advised us it was OK to play behind closed doors and it was on TV, I think that would be a huge step forward for the game,” Morgan said.
The English are due to host the West Indies in a three-match Test series in June which appears in significant doubt.