Cricket: Australian quick bowler Pat Cummins optimistic about IPL going ahead in face of COVID-19

Pat Cummins - Australian quick bowler
Pat Cummins - Australian quick bowler Photo credit: Getty

Australian spearhead Patrick Cummins remains optimistic the upcoming Indian Premier League season will still go ahead.

Tournament organisers are prepared to shift games behind closed doors as India deals with its own outbreak of COVID-19.

Cummins, the world's No.1 rated test bowler sold for the highest fee ever commanded for an overseas player in the IPL auction earlier this year.

The Kolkata Knight Riders paid NZ$3.5 million for the 26-year-old right-arm quick.

But with the sporting world in coronavirus lockdown, the 2020 season has been pushed back two weeks until April 14.

That date is likely to shift again with the Indian cricket's governing body, the BCCI, set for further discussions next week. 

"I am super hopeful it will go on," Cummins told the BBC's Stumped podcast.

"Every time I speak to team management they are really confident and hopeful it's going to happen at some stage.

"But there are so many unknowns. I would be surprised if something happens soon, but whatever it takes to get cricket back up - then we can hopefully play in these big events safely.

"Obviously the first priority is people's safety and all regulations being met. 

"But secondly, you want to get back to normality as close as possible. If it means no crowds for a little while then so be it."

Cummins played in front of an empty stadium last month when Australia thrashed the Blackcaps at the SCG in Sydney in the only Chappell-Hadlee match to take place. 

And even while the experience left Cummins a little hollow, any chance to get back to normality is favoured over isolation.

"The ODI at the SCG was a novelty and super weird," he said.

"It didn't feel like an international match, it was more like a Sheffield Shield match.

"When friends and family ask me about what it is about playing in India that makes it so special I always say it's the crowd.

"They scream literally for every ball whether it's a dot ball, a six, a wicket. It's the same noise and that atmosphere is what we love.

"It will be missed in the short term if it can't happen, but I've no doubt it will be a great event, even if it has to be played without any crowds."

Cummins admits it's been difficult for everyone in the Australian squad keeping in shape at home, although there has been some banter between the group via their phones. 

"It's weird because you spend every day with these boys and we are only contacting each other via Whatsapp," Cummins said.

"Davey Warner's been very vocal about his gym sessions, his house looks like something from a Rocky movie. Justin Langer has been sending us workout videos.

"Everyone has been enjoying time separately but staying in touch. It'll be good to be back touring and annoying each other personally instead of on the phone."