‘Have to think about how I started with nobody watching’ – Rohit Sharma open to playing the IPL behind closed doors

'It will be a little strange to play in the empty stadiums.'

Rohit Sharma of Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma of Mumbai Indians. (Photo by IANS)

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Rohit Sharma, the national limited-overs vice-captain, has backed the idea of playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) behind closed doors. The start of the T20 tournament was first postponed from March 29 to April 15 due to the massive coronavirus outbreak. However, after the lockdown in India was extended until May 3, the IPL had to be deferred for an indefinite period.

Rohit’s team Mumbai Indians is the four-time champions of the IPL, having won the title in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively. But for the time being, chances of the event getting called off is also on the cards. Rohit reckons that even if the matches are played in front of empty stands, there would be something and the audience will also be treated to some delight on their TVs.

People will be able to watch us on television: Rohit Sharma

“It will be a little strange to play in the empty stadiums. I don’t know how the fans will take it. As a kid, I have to go back a long way and think about how I started playing cricket with nobody watching me. We didn’t have the luxury of playing in these luxurious stadiums, I think life will go back to that,” Rohit was quoted as saying in India Today’s E-Conclave 2020.

“Whatever rules the board comes up with, we need to follow that and try and play some sort of cricket. People will be able to watch us on television. At least, there is something to look forward to,” the 33-year-old said.

“Yeah, once they open up the stadium, they open the fixtures for us to play, only then we will get to know how it’s going to be planned out. From what I gather is, less movement and staying in one particular area is very important,” Rohit added.

If the IPL doesn’t eventually take place then the personnel, relating to the tournament, is set to incur massive losses. Talks of holding the IPL without the foreign players have also been doing the rounds for quite a while. Sourav Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently said that there won’t be any cricket at least in the near future.