Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 September 2020

IPL

IPL 2020: Dinesh Karthik happy to make sacrifices if it 'brings smiles to faces' of Kolkata Knight Riders fans

Kolkata captain said staying in bio-secure bubble a small price for the players to pay

Dinesh Karthik insists staying within the IPL’s bio-secure bubble is the least the players can do, given the difficulties so many of the supporters face at present.

Several players have opted out of this year’s competition, citing personal reasons for staying away.

Suresh Raina, the highest profile departure, was quoted as being skeptical about the biosecurity measures that are in place for the event.

The eight franchises have a list of procedures to adhere to in order to protect against the spread of Covid-19.

It means being partitioned away from the public for 80 days while the competition takes place across the UAE, with movement restricted to merely the team hotel at the grounds.

Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, said it is a small price for the players to pay.

“It is a required thing right now with the pandemic,” Karthik said.

“What do we miss sometimes? Obviously the chance to go out. But I am willing to bargain that for the fact we can play a tournament like the IPL.

“Six months ago, when the pandemic struck us and we were in lockdown, all we wanted to do was play sport.

“Today we have an opportunity to play the sport, and more importantly the IPL, which is a tournament of big magnitude.

“If you get the opportunity to play in it, and people are able to watch on TV, the least we can do is be part of this bio-bubble, and go through some hardships off the field.

“We want to make sure we put some smiles on the faces of every person who is watching us.”

Karthik said his side will be motivated by the thought of entertaining their supporters back at home, many of whom also suffered during the cyclone which buffeted the area in May.

“This year is not so much about playing for us, it is about playing for [the supporters],” Karthik said.

“I say that because of all the atrocities that have happened in the world, not just the pandemic but also Cyclone Amphan that happened and the destruction it caused.

“The amount of lives that had to go through turmoil during those times, I genuinely feel we will be playing the tournament for two reasons.

“Yes, to play to win it, but most of all for the people of West Bengal and the people who have supported KKR throughout. We want to put a smile on their faces.

“Through our cricket, if we play the right brand of cricket, I’m sure we can put a smile on the faces of every KKR fan out there.”

KKR start their IPL campaign when they face Mumbai Indians at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in the capital on Wednesday, September 23, starting at 6pm.

Updated: September 9, 2020 08:36 PM

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