Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has supported the decision of cricket returning to stadiums without the presence of fans.
Kohli has said that cricket returning to TV screens all over the world would provide some much-needed entertainment to the people, who have been in lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fast-spreading disease has halted sporting activities throughout the world, with cricket across the globe taking a huge hit as well.
In the show ‘Cricket Connected’ on Star Sports, Virat Kohli explained why bringing back cricket is necessary for the Indian public, but stressed on the fact that it should be done only at an appropriate time.
The RCB skipper, however, admitted the fact that magical moments will be hard to create without the fans chanting their names. According to him, the emotions will not be the same in stadiums without any crowds.
However, Kohli said that the situation won't diminish the intensity with which the players normally take to the field, and that everyone will give their 100 per cent once they enter the cricket field. He said:
“I know it will be played at a very good intensity but that feeling of the crowd connecting with the players and the tension of the game where everyone goes through it in the stadium, those emotions are very difficult to recreate...Things will still go on, but I doubt that one will feel that magic happening inside because of the atmosphere that was created... We will play sports how it is supposed to be played, but those magical moments will be difficult to come by.”
'Difficult to play in empty stadiums,' says Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is one of the biggest sporting icons in the country and carries a huge fan-base among kids and younger generation. Although he is in favour of cricket returning in empty stadiums, he also said that it would be difficult for players to get used to the same.
While interacting with the kids on the show, he stated how his childhood memories of playing in front of empty stadiums or without fans will come in handy, and that it will take everyone back in time.
"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.”
Virat Kohli also said that the team will adhere to the rules and regulations that will be put in place by the BCCI in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that the fans will at least be able to watch cricketers play live on television, which according to him will be encouraging in itself.
“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.”