There has been no end to suffering for the entire world during this pandemic and the return of IPL 2020 after a COVID-19-enforced lockdown seems to be the right tonic the Indian cricket fans needed after months of mental and physical health atrocities.
At least that’s what Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik wants, who made his feeling apparent that he wants his team to play for the fans in this year’s Indian Premier League in the UAE.
“I think this year it’s not so much for us, but we are playing for you (the fans). And I am saying that because of all the atrocities that happened in the world during the pandemic,” the 35-year-old said in UAE.
“Most importantly after cyclone Amphan happened (in West Bengal and Odisha); after all the destruction it caused, I genuinely feel we will be playing the tournament for two reasons: yes to win it and more so for the people of West Bengal and everyone who has supported KKR throughout. We want to put up a smile on their faces by playing good cricket.”
While the opening stages of the IPL will be played in empty stadia, the wicketkeeper-batsman admitted that he will miss the fans, especially the energy that Eden Gardens (home ground of KKR) crowd brings.
“I think it's massive; the crowd and the energy that is affiliated with the Eden Gardens, Kolkata and West Bengal is something special. I think only if you come to play for KKR, you can really feel it.
“Irrespective of the opponent, every game they turn up in huge numbers. IN figures, we are talking 60,000-70,000 crowd. And the energy they bring is unbelievable. Last year went brilliantly for us despite not winning the title but their love and support has been consistent throughout the ups and downs. That’s why I feel KRR crowd is a special crowd,” said an enthusiastic DK.
While the bio-secure bubble has been a hot topic of discussion since sporting action resumed. Challenges of staying in a safe zone while ensuring safety seem to be a burden on players, whose movements are similarly limited. Karthik, however, reckons that this is the least they can do.
“I think the bio-secure bubble is a great plan for two reasons. A: I think it is mandatory right now due to current pandemic. B: It gives the opportunity to be with your team and players throughout. We do miss going out sometimes but I am willing to bargain that for the fact that we are willing to play a tournament like IPL.
“Six months ago, all we wanted to do is play the sport and now we have the opportunity to actually play the sport, especially a tournament of big magnitude like IPL. And if we are getting to play a tournament like IPL and fans are willing to watch us in action, the least we can do is stay in the bubble and make sure we put a smile on everyone’s face,” he concluded