International cricket’s resumption was official when England and West Indies played a little less than 18 overs on Day 1 of the first Test at Southampton on Wednesday. As announced before, it was behind closed doors and South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes believes this will be a factor more in white-ball cricket than in Tests.
"I think in T20 cricket, fans and the atmosphere have an impact on the player. Many a times, it changes the attitude of the player as they get inspired by the support of the fans," Rhodes was quoted as saying by IANS.
"First-class cricket takes place in an empty stadium. If you look at Ranji Trophy in India, there are no fans. But when it comes to Test cricket, I think that the players will play with full competitive spirit whether fans are there or not.
"Yes, you will need some players in the team who keep on speaking continuously, but I don't think Test cricket will get that much affected because of the absence of fans in the stadium as players have a habit of playing Test matches in front of less audience," he added.
IPL 2020 currently stands suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in India and everything related to the tournament is dependent on the ICC’s decision about the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for October-November in Australia. It has been reported that ICC is likely to postpone the World Cup, opening up time on the calendar for the IPL to take place.
"It is very difficult to think of passing the year without IPL. It has been an integral part of the cricket calendar since 2008. From the very beginning, BCCI tries to stage IPL every year," said the 50-year-old.
"IPL is also very important financially and regarding the future of the players as well. The best players in the world play in it. To me it is meaningless to expect the cricket calendar without an IPL.
"Hopefully by the end of the year, the situation will improve and we can watch the IPL. We know that it will be played in empty stadiums. This time it will be for TV. It will be interesting to see how TV producers create an atmosphere without an audience," he added.
Rhodes says it will be far more difficult to stage the T20 World Cup on time because it involves fans along with cricketers from other countries travelling to Australia, hence raising the risk factor.
"In IPL, it will be that the players will come from outside, they will be quarantined, the teams will get tested, but the fans in the IPL will be from India.
"Whereas with the World Cup, it is the fans of other teams who will also come to watch the match. It would be very difficult to stage the tournament in such a situation. The Olympics has also been postponed due to this pandemic. Looking at the current situation, I think there are dark clouds on the T20 World Cup," he added.