New Delhi, Thinking of those that you are playing for letting your mind dwell on the empty stadiums will be key for players to adapt to playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches behind closed doors, said Delhi Capitals batsman Ajinkya Rahane.
The IPL this year will be held in three bio-secure venues across the UAE amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That is the challenge, there is no crowd at all. We are used to playing in front of 50-60 thousand people in the stadium,” Rahane said on Thursday in his first press conference since arriving in the UAE for the tournament with the squad.
“But we all play domestic cricket in which there is hardly anyone watching the game. I think the attitude should be to do well for the team and think about the workers, the police forces, the doctors who have been working really hard in this situation and play for them instead of thinking that there are no crowds to watch us.
“Ultimately you have to back yourself, enjoy your game and give the best for your team. I don’t think we will have any problem regarding that. The most important challenge will be to do social distancing on the field during celebrations. Apart from that we are just looking forward to playing cricket and doing well for our teams.”
Most players who will feature in this year’s IPL are coming from a lengthy break from the game due to the freeze that was imposed on the cricketing calendar by the pandemic. Rahane however said that with the right attitude, it should not take too long for players to get back into the groove.
“Personally, I have not batted in the past five to six months. I have only done some work out at home alongwith visualisation and meditation at home. So it is going to be a challenge when we get back to practice but I am sure it will take just three-four sessions to get back into the groove. I always bank on attitude and work experience on the field and now discipline is also very important with regard to following the guidelines and rules,” he said.