DUBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said that the intensity levels of the side would not drop during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 just because there would be no crowds.
The IPL 2020 is slated to be played from September 19-November 10 in the UAE across three venues -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. The first half of the tournament would be played behind closed doors and there would be no crowd as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.
On Thursday, RCB chairman Sanjeev Churiwala along with Kohli, Parthiv Patel, and Devdutt Padikkal paid tribute to "COVID Heroes" during a virtual press conference. "All of us have thought about playing in front of empty stadiums. It would be a strange feeling, I cannot deny that. At the end of the day, you understand why you started playing the sport, you now have a chance of showing how much you love the game. Crowds are an amazing part of any sport but that is not something you play the sport for. This time around we have an opportunity to bring joy to so many people, our intensity and passion levels will not drop just because there is no crowd," Kohli said during the virtual press conference.
When asked about how the side has adapted to living in a bio-secure bubble, Kohli said: "We discussed to be appreciative of things that are around you, we all know what we need to do. We know what we can afford to do in this bio-secure bubble and we have become relaxed now as we have accepted the situation we are living in. There is no desperation of any sort and for me, that is the biggest learning from this pandemic till now."
Wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel also said that the side has adapted to the new playing guidelines during the training sessions and now they are looking to bring a smile on the faces of everyone through playing an exciting brand of cricket.
"I still remember after the isolation of seven days, I was pretty excited about meeting everyone. During the training, it has sunk in that we cannot apply saliva on the ball and we have adjusted to other new rules as well. It is about staying safe, it is my third year at RCB, and we guys are really gelling well this year. We would want to try to bring a smile on the faces of everyone," Parthiv Patel said.
Mumbai Indians and CSK will lock horns in the tournament opener on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. RCB will lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad in their opening match on September 21.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Josh Philippe, Pavan Deshpande, Dale Steyn, Shahbaz Ahamad, Isuru Udana, Adam Zampa.