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Coronavirus: Harbhajan Singh says cricket can wait, lives are at stake

Kolkata, April 19: Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels cricket should be the last thing on everyone’s minds when it comes to closed door matches or the currently postponed Indian Premier League (IPL), amid the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week on Thursday (April 16), The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officially announced that IPL 2020 has been suspended till further notice. While suggestions of having games without spectators are being mooted by the likes of England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, once restrictions are lifted, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar proposed an India-Pakistan series as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts. But Harbhajan has a different view. “See cricket is the last thing on my mind at the moment.

I am not even thinking about it,” Harbhajan told IANS. “There are other way to raise funds. It is not necessary to hold a cricket match. I don’t think anyone should think about sports and cricket at this hour. These are small things. Lives are at stake…understand that,” said the 39-year old off-spinner who is helping feed 5000 under-privileged families in his native Jalandhar. “Yes cricket has given us everything. Whatever I am today is because of cricket. But this is not the time to discuss cricket. I would like to talk about how we can help people,” said Harbhajan. Meanwhile, like IPL, there are also doubts over the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Australia later this year. However, Harbhajan still maintained that, a World Cup or an IPL can wait for a year.

“One IPL, one World Cup…what difference will it make if it does not happen this year? But if these things go on, our lives will be finished. “I know I am not in my 20s anymore but even if I was…I would have said the same thing,” said Harbhajan. “We have been taking everything for granted. But this (COVID-19) has taught us to be thankful for all small things. Abhi ghar pe khana bhi banta hai to sochta hu chalo khana to hai (now we are thankful that we are getting food). We also used to take our health for granted. What are you going to do with your money, car, house if you are not healthy. We have to respect that.”

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