Former Pakistan captain-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja believes boards cannot survive for long without resuming cricket and urged the PCB to hold talks with other associations to find a way to play the sport behind closed doors.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit sports hard with Cricket Australia forced to stand down almost 80 percent of its staff.
The fast-spreading disease has halted all cricket activities across the globe, putting under threat this year’s T20 World Cup and also indefinitely suspending the 13th IPL.
“Cricket fans are starved now and the coronavirus pandemic has brought life to a standstill but I don’t think cricket boards can survive for long like this. They can’t continue to pay out salaries and expenses without having cricket activities it would be disastrous for them,” Ramiz said in his Youtube channel.
“I would also urge the Pakistan Cricket Board to think on these lines and hold talks with other boards to see how cricket activities can be resumed even behind closed doors.”
The coronavirus outbreak has forced countries to go under lockdown to contain the disease, which has so far infected over 2.5 million people globally.
The former Test opener said it would be a disaster if this lockdown continues for long.
“Unless a vaccine can be created, we can only defeat it through social distancing and precautionary measures,” he said.
“Pakistan is trying to start industries in a bid to start the economy again. No country can survive in a perpetual lockdown. This would be a disaster. I believe the cricket industry needs to re-open as well.”
Ramiz urged the PCB to take the first step in initiating talks with other boards in this regard.
“The PCB can take the first step in initiating this conversation. Any cricket board, no matter how rich, cannot keep paying salaries in a perpetual lockdown situation. We need dialogue and planning to start cricket again,” he said.
“If fans cannot attend then holding it behind closed doors is an option.”