India are going through a horrific second wave of Coronavirus pandemic, which affected the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League as multiple players and staff tested positive. One among them was Michael Hussey, CSK's batting coach, who upon return to his country, stated that teams would fear travelling to India for the T20 World Cup, slated to take place in October.
However, the statement hasn't gone down well with Sunil Gavaskar who defended India's cause saying the country can turn the tide just the way they did on SARS as well as bird flu in the past.
"As Mr. Cricket left for home shores he observed that it would not be possible to hold the ICC T20 World Cup in India in October this year. Yes, India is going through a horrific time with the virus spread but there are still more than four months to go for the mega event. More and more people are getting vaccinated and more and more cities and states are active in trying to control the spread," Gavaskar wrote on his column for Sportstar.
"In a country with a population as huge as India it is next to impossible to eradicate a disease but India in the past has combated successfully the SARS as well as bird flu. While some may argue that those were chicken feed diseases compared to COVID-19, the fact that India had controlled the first wave magnificently does give the confidence that the country can do it again but may take a little longer to do so."
When Australia hosted India late last year, the regular splurge in cases brought about a lot of uncertainties. The Little Master stated that Australian players had no qualms then and didn't ask for a change in schedule.
"The Aussies had no compunction in going ahead with the money-spinning India tour even in cities where they had active COVID cases and again, whether it’s a few hundred compared to hundred thousand cases, the fact is nobody in Australia suggested that the India tour be called off. Not only that, even the Australian Open tennis tournament went ahead despite active COVID cases in Melbourne.
"So all that is asked for is a similar sympathetic consideration from all those who are trying to take it away from India. If the situation does not improve by August end then by all means take it to the UAE, the standby location for the event, but please don’t jump the gun now. UAE has shown in the recent past that it can handle big events and will definitely do a great job of hosting it. That should not be a surprise, especially to the Aussies as they have seen earlier in the year that even standbys can pack a punch. But please give India a chance as much as you gave your country to hold big events earlier in the year.