South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada has said that playing behind closed doors would “feel really bizarre” and the support from the crowd will be missed during international matches. “The world needs to move on, but the disease cannot spread. Therefore, you cannot have any people in the stadiums. It is going to feel really bizarre, playing here at home, during franchise games, sometimes the stadium is empty, but on an international circuit, it will feel really weird,” said Rabada.
Rabada was doing an Instagram live session on the official handle of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals where the pacer was asked about the prospects of playing behind closed doors.
All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is being speculated for some time now that cricket will be played behind closed doors as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.
“You would be playing against some of the best players in the world. There would be no support. But at the end of the day, competition would be there; no one wants to get dominated. It does not matter who you are. So the competition will be there. People will be able to see cricket on their television screens,” he added.
International cricket will make a return in July as England and West Indies will be facing each other in a three-match Test series. These Tests will be played across two venues and both of them have been selected as bio-secure venues.
The ICC has already issued guidelines for safely resuming cricket. It has said the chartered flights should be used for travel for some period of time. The ICC also said that international teams should strongly consider travelling with a medical doctor.
Travelling teams should ensure that necessary arrangements are in place to support a team member should they test positive while on tour.
The players and the umpires have also been asked to maintain social distancing on the cricket field including no handing over of player items — cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers — to the umpire or teammates.
Rabada has had a mixed bag in the last 12 months as he scalped 21 wickets in six Tests and five wickets from five T20I matches. So far, the pacer has played 43 Tests, 75 ODIs and 24 T20Is and has managed to take 244 wickets across all formats.
He is currently ranked at the number fifth spot in both the Test and ODI rankings.
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