‘It’s similar to deaf cricket’ – Saeed Ajmal on return of cricket amid COVID fears

‘It’s similar to deaf cricket’ – Saeed Ajmal on return of cricket amid COVID fears

He also called England as the clear favourites for Pakistan's upcoming series.

Saeed Ajmal
Saeed Ajmal. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images) *

Saeed Ajmal, the former Pakistan bowler, has said that return of cricket behind closed doors would be similar to playing deaf cricket. The 42-year-old reckons that playing in front of the empty stands would make things boring for a player and there could be lack of motivation as well.

The Punjab-born Ajmal believes that the stands shouldn’t be left empty and around a thousand spectators can be permitted. The decision of playing with no crowds was taken, bearing in mind how contagious the COVID-19 has been over the last few months.

Saeed Ajmal requests authorities to get in limited number of fans

“It would be boring for players and, in a way, similar to deaf cricket because there will be no crowd to watch the match,” Ajmal was quoted as saying in a teleconference, reported by Cricket Pakistan. “I would request the authorities to allow a limited number of fans in the stadium. For example, 1,000 people in a venue with a capacity of 10,000,” he stated.

In the meantime, Pakistan cricket is all set to resume as the players are already in England for a bilateral series. Chaos broke out before the tour as 10 cricketers were tested positive for the coronavirus. However, six of them tested negative. On Sunday, June 28, a 20-member Pakistan squad arrived in England from Lahore via a chartered flight.

The squad was then transferred to Worcester where the ECB will test them. Thereafter, the players would go into a 14-day isolation period, during which they will be able to train and practise. As per a tentative schedule, the opening Test will start on August 5 in Manchester. Pakistan will also be playing three T20Is on August 29, 31 and September 2.

Going into the series, Ajmal didn’t mince any words in saying that the home team would be starting as the firm favourites due to Pakistan’s poor Test records. “I think England are clear favourites because Pakistan’s track record in Test cricket, in the recent past, is not very good.

I would be surprised if Pakistan even wins one match. Our team is inexperienced and has a lot of young players in it,” Ajmal added.