Australia quick Pat Cummins has vouched for the Indian Premier League to be played behind closed doors, hoping the move will restore some amount of normalcy to the world of sport and in people’s lives, both of which have come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI postponed IPL till April 15, but with India currently in a lockdown, and no further and concrete development coming through, there is a belief that the tournament may be skipped this year, or at least in the current window.

Cummins, however, who was the most expensive buy at last year’s auction process, faces another problem as there are restrictions imposed on travelling by the Australian government.

“Of course, whatever it takes to try and get cricket up and play those big events safely,” Cummins told BBC on whether he’ll be open to bowling in front of empty stands. “The first priority is safety but the second one is getting back to normality. It’s finding that balance. If that unfortunately means no crowds for a while then that’s that but hopefully people can watch at home on television.”

As Cummins waits on the future of the IPL, the 26-year-old received a welcome news on Wednesday when he was named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year alongside Ellyse Perry, Jofra Archer, Simon Harmer and teammate Marnus Labuschagne. Cummins, the ICC Test Player of the Year, grabbed 59 wickets from 12 Tests and was the leading wicket-taker (29) in the 2019 drawn Ashes series.

“The first I heard about it was a couple of months ago,” he said. “The award is held in high regard in Australia, I remember my dad and grandad talking about it. It caught me off guard to get it but I feel very honoured and privileged to win it. I had to keep it quiet, I hadn’t told anyone.”

For someone who started off his international with a string of injuries, Cummins has come a long way, especially in terms of fitness as he played all five Ashes Tests. That personally, is a huge gain for the Aussie quick and even though the series ended in a draw, Cummins said he and the rest of the teammates took plenty of heart from the fact that Australia retained the Ashes.

“I have so many favourite moments from the Ashes series. There was a plan years in advance, I was in good form and fitness. To have a good series personally is great. It’s the one big event you really look forward to, and I’m proud to get through five Tests,” he pointed out. “In terms of moments, the two wins the first win at Edgbaston, starting the first Test match with a win. Then obviously retaining the Ashes at Manchester late in day five would be another moment.”