‘Don’t mind playing without crowds’ - Harbhajan Singh braces for IPL matches behind closed doors

‘Don’t mind playing without crowds’ – Harbhajan Singh braces for IPL matches behind closed doors

Harbhajan was looking forward to playing all the 17 matches in the IPL 2020.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Harbhajan Singh, the veteran spinner, sounded mentally prepared for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to take place behind closed doors amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the COVID-19, India is currently a 21-day lockdown until April 14. As far as the IPL is concerned, it was earlier scheduled to start on March 29. However, due to the current situation, the start was postponed to April 15.

In the wake of the critical scenario, the visas of foreigners have also been cancelled. Harbhajan, who plays for the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK), feels that hosting the IPL will also help the audience watch the games live on their TV sets. He also said that if the tournament takes place then the safety of the players, keeping them sanitized, should be of prime importance.

A lot of lives are on line: Harbhajan Singh

“Spectators are important, but if the situation arises, I don’t mind playing without them. Yes, as a player I won’t get the vibe, but this will ensure that every fan will get to watch IPL on their TV,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying on Star Sports 1 Hindi show Cricket Connected.

“We will have to be cautious about everything and should prioritize players’ safety by ensuring that the match venues, team hotels, flights are properly sanitized. A lot of lives are on line so we should organise IPL when everything is fine,” he stated.

The Super Kings have a massive fandom after winning the championship three times. Last year, the CSK lost to the Mumbai Indians by a solitary run in the final in Hyderabad. Harbhajan said that he was hoping to play all 17 matches in the tournament.

“I miss matches the most, was hoping that I would get to play 17 matches (including finals) after a year’s gap. I miss our visits to the ground, the hordes of fans waiting to greet us, the bikes that used to ride along our bus and am sure that every fan is missing this as well,” Harbhajan added.

CSK had already started their training camp with skipper MS Dhoni also joining it. The IPL was also a chance for Dhoni to return to competitive cricket after the 2019 edition of the World Cup in England and Wales. But then the camp had to be postponed in the wake of the abject situation.