The Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) was recently postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak during the tournament. While this was sad news for cricket fans worldwide, such measures are also understandable given the tough times that we live in.
Covid-19 has been a crisis on an unprecedented scale and has affected several global tournaments around the world. Even the 2020 Summer Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, had to be rescheduled to 2021.
While this is a setback for cricket in Pakistan, one can be certain that these circumstances are temporary. Cricket is slowly making a comeback in venues worldwide, and even this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is scheduled to be held in India. At the same time, care needs to be taken to ensure that Covid-19 protocols are followed properly.
Events that brought cricketing activities to a halt
This is also not the first time cricketing events have been suspended or cancelled due to an overarching disaster, whether natural or human-made. We take a look at some of these.
The scale of world wars was massive, and they impacted lives around the globe, and it affected the game of cricket as well.
The West Indies tour of England in 1939 had to be cut short due to a looming international crisis and an imminent war. A few weeks later, the second World War broke out, and there was no cricket for the next few years.
The civil war in Sri Lanka had an impact on cricket as well, with New Zealand abandoning a tour in 1987. In 2006, Sri Lanka and South Africa engaged in a two-test series and subsequently played a tri-series. However, due to a series of bomb blasts, this was called off too.
New Zealand cancelled its tour of Pakistan in 2002, after they had played a Test match and ODI series. The tour had to be shortened because a bomb went off minutes before the scheduled start of play in the second Test match.
In 2009, Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan had to be abandoned after an infamous attack on the visitors’ team bus in which a number of players and match officials were injured.
This attack shocked the cricketing fraternity because of its scale and the direct impact on cricketers. It led to the suspension of international cricket in Pakistan for the next few years. For that duration, Pakistan played most of its cricket in the UAE.
3. Natural Disaster
Natural disasters have had their share of tours cancelled in the past as well. In 2004, the Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand was postponed due to the Tsunami that struck the Indian Subcontinent on 26th December.
Sri Lanka had to face the worst of the disaster in terms of lives and property losses. Naturally, the players could not be expected to play cricket amidst the tragedy.
Sri Lanka would return later to play a two-Test series in 2005, and the ODIs were played in the winter of 2005.