Cricket can still bring some relief to people : Ricky Ponting

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Kolkata: The pullout of a number of Australian cricketers from ongoing IPL 2021, along with Indian star Ravi Ashwin to be with his extended family to fight the COVID-19 menace, has only brought to surface the concerns that the players had been sharing since the beginning of the league.

A few days back, Adam Gilchrist, the Australian legend and a former IPL-winning skipper with Deccan Chargers, raised the question on social media if carrying on with the league is ‘‘inappropriate’’ or an ‘‘important distraction’’ – leaving it to the fans to decide.

Admitting the concerns after their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Ricky Ponting, the Delhi Capitals head coach said in a video on team’s Twitter handle: “This IPL, probably more than any other, has become more about what’s happening outside than what’s happening here. We right now are probably the safest people in the country being in the bubbles that we are in,” Ponting said.

“Continually I’m asking the boys at breakfast every day how’s everything going on the outside, how’s family, (is) family safe, (is) family happy. That’s a really important thing,” he said. “It is really important, we are thinking about the extended family, not just us, but we’ve got to be talking about what’s happening outside because it is quite grim,” Ponting added.