Udayavni Special

Fine with IPL in empty stadiums if it ensures fans’ safety: Rahane


PTI, Apr 30, 2020, 9:15 AM IST

New Delhi India and Delhi Capitals batsman Ajinkya Rahane won’t mind playing the IPL in empty stadiums if it ensures the safety of the fans.

Speaking in an Instagram Live session arranged by Delhi Capitals, Rahane said: “COVID-19 pandemic has taught everyone that unexpected things can happen, therefore we need to be happy about what we are doing, and should value what we have.

“As for IPL or any other sport, I feel it could be played without spectators. All of us have played domestic cricket in almost empty stadiums, so that’s an experience all cricketers are used to,” he said.

“Of course we are nothing without our fans, and that’s why their safety is of utmost importance. Even if they get to watch some Live action from home, I am sure that will be an enjoyable experience as well. The safety of fans is key, and if we need to play in empty stadiums for that, we are open to doing it,” Rahane said.

IPL 2020 has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but there is a possibility that it is played behind closed doors in September.

Speaking on how he has been spending time during the nationwide lockdown, India’s Test specialist said he is enjoying bonding with his wife and daughter.

“I’m trying to be as positive as possible during this lockdown, and staying at home with my wife and daughter. It’s given me an opportunity to bond with them, and I am also able to help my wife in cooking and cleaning. I’m also trying to revive my karate skills, something that I pursued as a child. It definitely helps me in maintaining my agility and fitness, and I am enjoying it a lot,” said the 31-year-old.

The experienced middle-order batsman was bought by Delhi Capitals last year before the IPL Auction and says he is really excited about playing for the franchise.

“It is something I’ve really been eager about, and it has stemmed in because of the things I’ve heard about the team from the likes of Ishant, Shikhar, and Shreyas. They’ve told me that it’s like a huge family where everyone is always backing each other, and enjoying each other’s successes,” he said.

Talking about his excitement on playing under head coach Ricky Ponting, Rahane said he has always admired the Australian legend.

“My idols growing up were definitely Rahul Sir and Sachin Sir, but I’ve always admired Ricky Sir also. I used to try to copy his batting and fielding styles. And therefore, I’m really looking forward to working under him. I’m sure he will help me immensely in my batting as well as overall leadership, said the former captain of Rajasthan Royals.

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