Sumathi Iyer, former cricketer from Tamil Nadu, believes resumption of cricket is important for the mental and financial welfare of the players. India are likely to return to cricket action when they travel to England with the possibility of a tri-series between India, England and South Africa in September.
“It is important that the game resumes, for mental and financial welfare of the players,” Iyer was quoted as saying to The New Indian Express. “Resumption will help them get back the enthusiasm and the desire to play. Had the standstill continued for longer, many girls may have lost interest.”
India were scheduled to tour England in late June for a series against the hosts, but it had to be postponed due to the restrictions that were in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iyer, one of the first women umpires from India, feels the players have the ability to rise above the challenges of playing during the times of a pandemic.
“Playing during COVID-19 times is completely different. It will be a challenging job for the coach to assemble the players, make them understand the new protocols and new rules. But our girls are passionate about the game and should come out with flying colours,’’ she said.
International cricket is all set to return with the series between England and West Indies men’s teams when they take on each other for a Test series starting from July 8. It is expected that England, India and South Africa will play a tri-nation series in September although there has been no formal announcement so far.
“Our players are training at home and are fit. Once they go to England after the quarantine period, they will play practice games,” she said.
“This bunch of players are professionals. One cannot expect them to be scared forever and sit at home. When England and West Indies are going to play and Pakistan too, the ECB would have certainly evaluated the situation.”