IPL 2020: Harbhajan fine with IPL in empty stadiums but hopes it happens as “lives depend on it”

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Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh says he won’t mind an IPL 2020 played in empty stadiums but the event should go ahead when the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control as several livelihoods are dependent on the it.

“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 2020 on their TV,” Harbhajan, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, told Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.

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“We will have to be cautious about everything and should prioritise 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 2020 when everything is fine,” he added.

The BCCI has suspended the IPL 2020 till April 15 but the tournament is increasingly looking unlikely given the current nationwide lockdown to contain the virus.

“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,” Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan said he is keeping himself fit for the league as and when it happens.

“I hope that IPL 2020 happens soon, till then I will keep myself fit,” quipped the 39-year-old veteran of 103 Tests.