Cricket without crowd is unimaginable: Ian Bell

As the coronavirus pandemic is taking toll on the sporting industry, managements and the stakeholders from time to time have been proposing closed-door activities. Cricketing world being no different, as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has accepted that playing without spectators is necessary if there is any hope of getting the international schedule up and running in July. Ian Bell, the former batting star, who played for the English side from 2004 to 2015, however, feels that the playing cricket behind closed doors is “hard to imagine”. He said, “It’s not ideal to play without the fans, no doubt, but it seems like something we›re going to have to get used to for the foreseeable future.” Bell rightly believes that after retiring from the professional sport, a sportsman realises that the crowd is what makes the competitive matches “so special.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch some of those great moments from the (Ashes) series in 2005 and what you realize is the importance of the atmosphere and the support,” Bell told the PA news agency. “You think of that great Freddie Flintoff spell at Edgbaston — what would that have been like without the fans and the atmosphere? It’s hard to imagine,” he added “Emotion can get the best of you at the best of times, and certainly when you’re playing Australia,” said the former ace batsman. “We have to try and get going and if everyone is able to watch at home that›s a great start,” Bell concluded with a heavy heart.

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