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Azhar Ali in favour of playing cricket behind closed doors
Azhar Ali

Azhar Ali in favour of playing cricket behind closed doors

After Pat Cummins put his weight behind playing cricket behind closed doors, Pakistan Test skipper has also shown willingness to play cricket in front of empty stands once the situation becomes safe.

All sporting activities have come to a halt owing to the coronavirus pandemic but once the lockdowns are eased and necessary safety measures are taken, the next challenge for the organisers is going to be planning steps to resume live action.

Although no board has yet shared any date for resumption of cricket series, Azhar has recommended officials to consider this option in the coming weeks.

Talking to the reporters through a video conference, Azhar said: "If hopefully in the near future cricket is possible and the health of people is not compromised, I'm sure every cricketer will say we should get cricket back on, even if it is behind closed doors.

Speaking from a fans' standpoint, Azhar was of the view that cricket starved people would happily agree to see sports back on televisions and it would serve as an indicator of resumption to normality.

"There is no sport on TV right now that people can watch. They will be happy to get sport back on TV.

Pakistan Test cricket, however, in no way implied putting people's health in jeopardy by hastily getting cricket up and running again.

"People's health is more important, but if we can get sport going without imperilling that, I'd support it."

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would aspire to complete the Pakistan Super League (PSL) remaining business but that would pose a dilemma since Pakistan are due to tour England in May for Test series but that is becoming a remote possibility as well with the whole situation in England.

Shedding light on the fate of ICC World Test Championship, Azhar feels it won't be a daunting task for the organising body to rejig the championship schedule and extend it beyond 2022 to make up for the cancelled tours.

"I'm sure the ICC will look at this. The Test Championship was a long competition anyway, so I don't think it would be a big deal to extend it if the series cannot be held in time; I'd support extending the Test championship," Azhar added.