New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Less than 20 days ahead of the start of the thirteenth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain Virat Kohli said that the players participating in the tournament in the midst of the raging pandemic are privileged and asserted that all IPL participants should respect the tournament's bio-secure bubble.

While speaking on RCB’s YouTube show Bold Diaries, the Indian captain said, "Maybe because I was going on day and night for the last 10 years...It was a revelation for me in the sense that my focus was not solely on missing the game all the time."

The 31-year-old swashbuckler also said that BCCI’s SOPs and the bio-security bubble restrictions should be non-negotiable for all participants.

"We are all here to play cricket...The bio-bubble needs to be respected at all times for the tournament to happen eventually. We are not here to have fun and roam around and you know say that 'I want to hang out in Dubai'," Kohli asserted.

"That is not the time we are living in. Accept the phase that we are going through and understand the privilege that we have, just to be a part of the IPL. Everyone should accept that and not behave in a manner which situation doesn't require them to," he added.

Speaking on his form after five months of break, Kohli said it didn't take much time for him to find his groove. "A couple of months back you couldn't imagine that you will have IPL firstly. When we had our practice session yesterday, I realised how long it has been. When I was heading to the practice session, I felt nervous," he said.

"I felt a bit jittery but things were okay. I didn't miss the game as much as I though I might...just carrying on with life was also important," Kohli added.

On the the tournament being played without in-stadia fans because of the bio-bubble restrictions, Kohli said it would be strange at first but eventually players will adapt to the feeling.

"I would not say it won't be difficult, strange. The echo of bat hitting the ball, I haven't experienced it for the last 10 years. The Ranji Trophy was the last time. But we have done this at some stage of our lives," he said adding that “the crowd factor will definitely play a part but the instincts will kick in and it will diminish quite quickly."

Also, the instinctive celebrations on the field will also be restricted due to health-safety protocols. Kohli reiterated that everyone has no choice but to adapt. "It has to be a balance. You cannot go berserk. We can't be like kids being sent to a park," he quipped.



(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan