Monday, July 13, 2020, 02:00:40 AM

COVID-19 Has Silenced World Sports

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2020-04-15 12:43:41 PM
COVID-19 Has Silenced World Sports
COVID-19 Has Silenced World Sports

The overarching global impact of killer virus in a little over 100 days has already stalled every aspect of living and livelihood. Most of the economic activities, business, trade and commerce, sporting activities, entertainment activities are almost become nonexistent. 

No one goes to Casino, Bowling Club, Athletic Tracks, Swimming complex.  In Australia MCG, SCG, Wollongaba, Belrieve Oval look like barren island. Very few go to Bondi, Manley sea beaches or Opera house. Gold Coast and Sunshine coast have no activities.  Situation is not different in all other sporting arena and places of tourist attraction all over the world. Lords, Leeds, Oval , Eden Gardens, Gaddafi stadium ,  Queens Park Oval, Sabina Park, Sher-e -Bangla Cricket Stadium  are also in pin drop silence . IOC has deferred Tokyo Olympic, Wimbledon Tennis Tournament 2020, French Open, Formula One have been canceled, European Soccer Leagues have been deferred for indefinite period. Many bilateral cricket series have been cancelled. .ICC and ACC are seriously pondering about deferring ASIA CUP and ICC Mens’ T20 world Cup 2020.  BBCI does not know whether IPL can be staged this year or not. Sportsmen and Sports women like others are locked at home and observing social distancing. This time saving life and maintaining health is the priority.  Religious assemblies have been stopped. Even Pilgrimage to Mekkah, the greatest religious rite of Islam may not be held this year. COVID has brought Kings, Presidents, Ministers, Billionaires, Celebrities at the same level as slum dwellers. No one knows how long this impasse would continue and when everything would become business as usual. Cruise Ships, Air Craft Carriers have also been penetrated .None is outside the avalanche of the killer virus. There is one invisible aggressor and world community with all its amenities are on the back foot in defense. 

Like other countries sportsmen and women of Bangladesh in groups and individually have stood beside the COVID-19 affected distressed humanity. Many are distributing food and essentials to distressed humanity. BCB has already cancelled left over third phase of Pakistan Tour, Ireland tour. The bilateral test series between Australia has been deferred. The tour of New Zealand team may have the same fate. At this stage it is not sure whether ICC T20 world cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October 2020 would be held or not. BCB also could not carry on domestic cricket leagues and tournaments. BBF had to suspend league. The world Cup qualifying matches were also suspended. Nothing is there for footballers, Cricket players or athletes in general for Bangladesh or rest of the world at this moment other than staying at home and keeping their fitness through physical exercise and taking balanced diet. Large stadiums and indoor sporting facilities in many countries are being converted as Hospital for COVID patients. .World had never seen Olympics being suspended other than two world wars. Never before Wimbledon Tennis tournament was put off other than world war. Never before world has witnessed such an yet little known virus spreading across the globe with plutonic speed and making world community kneeling down in abject surrender. COVID 19 has stressed medical care facilities of even developed nations like USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Netherlands to their limits.  China and South Korea could somehow managed to sustain   the first round of attack. But it is still unknown whether the epidemic would devastate again. Australia has brought the spike under reasonable control. Death toll in Spain and Italy is slowing down.  COVID has just spread wings in Russia. About 2 million people in almost 190 countries of the world have been infected and over 100 thousand death tolls have been officially recorded. No vaccine has been found it yet. Even if there is any discovered it may take 18-24 months to have it commercially available for use. 

Many professional sportsmen and women are not from affluent family background. Every sports federation are trying to give them some financial support in these hard days. This is no different in Bangladesh as well. But these resource is also not unending. If this pandemic cannot be brought under reasonable control within 6 months there may be huge crisis. Many leading sports clubs and associations may become bankrupt.  We are not sure how long BCB and BFF or other bodies of sports in Bangladesh can support the players. We would like Government of Bangladesh announcing an incentive package for really needy and less affluent sportsmen and women of Bangladesh.

The situation is not under control of anyone. No one knows when the devil darkness would give way to sun shinning bright day. But all must ponder how to support and sustain the sporting community. They are heroes of every nation, great entertainers.

BDST: 1243 HRS, APR 15, 2020
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Alexa