‘Spectators are important, but...’: Harbhajan Singh on when and how IPL should be held
Seasoned India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes IPL should only go ahead when things are brought under control. The BCCI postponed the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and pushed back its start to April 15 due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“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. 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,”Harbhajan told Star Sports.
Harbhajan also said that he was missing the visits to the ground and was missing playing matches in front of packed stadiums.
“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. I hope that IPL happens soon, till then I will keep myself fit,” he further added.
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The BCCI, as part of its contingency plans, has kept open the option of rescheduling the IPL any time between late August and early October (before the T20 World Cup in Australia). This of course hinges on the hope the disease will be contained in the next four months. Depending on how it plays out, a plan will be redrawn. The IPL organising team will be looking at all the possibilities, from the participation of foreign players to a truncated tournament with only India players. The IPL is a massive revenue generator for the BCCI and is crucial for the wellbeing of Indian cricket.