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A Sportsman Doesn't Necessarily Need a Crowd to be Spurred On: Chappell

A Sportsman Doesn't Necessarily Need a Crowd to be Spurred On: Chappell

Ian Chappell feels a sportsman "doesn't necessarily" need a crowd to be "spurred on" but he acknowledges the eeriness of empty stands at SCG where Australia thrashed New Zealand in Friday's ODI.

  • PTI
  • Updated: March 15, 2020, 9:43 PM IST

Cricketing great Ian Chappell feels a sportsman "doesn't necessarily" need a crowd to be "spurred on" but he acknowledges the eeriness of empty stands at SCG where Australia thrashed New Zealand in Friday's ODI.

In a game played behind closed doors amid the COVID-19 threat, Australia beat New Zealand by 71 runs before the three-match series was called off.

"I'm one who believes you don't necessarily need a crowd to be spurred on as a sportsman; it's the thrill of a close contest that gets the juices flowing," Chappell wrote in ESPNcricinfo.

"Nevertheless it was a strange silence that accompanied scintillating boundaries and landmark scores at the SCG."

The astute former Australia captain also spoke about the positive side of watching a cricket match without cheering fans.

"The upside was the absence of mindless chatter over the PA system; it was good to enjoy a game of cricket where you could hear yourself think."

Aware of the enormity of the situation, the unprecedented developments of the past couple of days took Chappell to the days of the two world wars.

"The cancelling of major cricket matches is a rare occurrence and casts the sport back to the dark days of the two world wars.

"Test matches were suspended in early 1914 and didn't resume until late 1920 because of the First World War. The gap in competition was slightly longer during the Second World War, stretching from August 1939 until March 1946."

He also shared an anecdote from a game held at a time when the second world war was at its peak.

"Jack Robertson, a successful opening batsman for Middlesex and England, was batting at Lord's in 1944 when the air-raid sirens erupted. The players and umpires all lay flat on the ground as they had been trained to do until the danger passed.

"On resumption, Robertson casually lifted the first delivery over the boundary for six," Chappell wrote.

On Friday, in keeping with the guidelines issued by the higher ups, the cricketers from both sides maintained safe distance, something that did not escape Chappell's attention.

"The finish provided another unusual sight: the opponents didn't shake hands or hug but acknowledged each other in a variety of different ways from the recommended safe distance of a couple of metres.

"These are indeed strange and difficult times but the main priority is to stay healthy -- a worthwhile objective," he concluded.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking