Pat Cummins backs IPL behind closed doors

Pat Cummins
Cummins was the leading wicket-taker in last summer's Ashes series between England and Australia with 29

Australia bowler Pat Cummins says he would support the Indian Premier League being played behind closed doors if it is not safe for fans to attend matches.

The IPL season was postponed from 29 March until 15 April because of coronavirus, but is expected to be further delayed or cancelled with India’s lockdown set to be extended.

Asked whether he would support games without fans, Cummins told the BBC's Stumped podcast: "Of course - whatever it takes to try and get cricket up and play those big events safely."

Cricket in the UK has been postponed until at least 28 May, with England's first game scheduled to start on 4 June.

Cummins, the top-ranked bowler in Test cricket and named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year this week, has a £1.7m contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders, making him the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.

The 26-year-old said he was "super hopeful" the tournament will go ahead but that he would be "surprised if it happened soon".

"The first priority is safety but the second one is getting back to normality, finding that balance," he said.

"If that unfortunately means no crowds for a while, then that is that, but hopefully people can watch at home on TV.

"It would have a totally different feel about it. When people ask about the difference between playing cricket in India the first thing is the crowd.

"They scream every single ball whether it’s a six or a wicket - it's the same noise every ball - so that atmosphere is something that we love about playing in India.

"It will be missed in the short term if it can't happen, but I have no doubt it will be a great event even if it has to be played without crowds."

The IPL, which is set to feature 60 20-over matches, was originally scheduled to finish on 24 May.

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