England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan reckons the return of sports on TV can create a theatre and level of expectation to raise the spirits of people in challenging times when the world is dealing with the deadly coronavirus.

Cricketing events have been suspended across the world to contain the spread of coronavirus which has now infected over 9,00,000 and left over 42,000 dead so far. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) too has halted all activities till May 28.

“Sport could play a huge role in uplifting the world and people’s perspective on things,” Morgan told reporters in a video conference. “Isolation encourages idle minds. Sport can create that theatre and that level of expectation around what it’s like to be outside again and be active. If it came to it, I think it would be a huge step forward.”

Morgan, who led England to their maiden ODI world cup triumph, did admit that realistically play will resume only if situation improves dramatically. “Obviously times are still uncertain at the moment. Realistically we can’t think about playing until the situation is downgraded from a pandemic,” he said.

Morgan also praised teammate Jos Buttler for auctioning off jersey he wore during the world cup final last year.

“It’s an incredibly kind gesture. I’m not one for holding on to memorabilia. Other people are different. The shirt will go for a lot of money and it should do. But the gesture within itself to aid new equipment to be bought is absolutely outstanding,” he said.

The money raised from the auction will go to two London hospitals which are battling coronavirus.