Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels foreign players won’t be much affected, but the Indian cricketers will definitely miss the energy while playing in front of empty stands in the upcoming Indian Premier League to be held at the UAE.
The 13th edition of IPL, which will get underway on September 19, will be held in a bio-secure environment behind closed doors — at least the first phase — in the wake of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think there will be too much of an adjustment for the overseas players. A lot of the overseas players play in front of small crowds or even empty grounds on a regular basis, so they will be used to that,” Styris said in Star Sport’s Cricket Connected show.
“But you are right, Indian players, I can’t remember. I mean (Virat) Kohli, 10 years ago, most of those players have been around long enough now. They won’t struggle, but they will just wonder where they are and look for that energy in other ways,” he added.
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said it will be odd initially to play in empty stadiums as in India the crowd can act as a 12th man for the home team.
“It might be little odd at the start, but like Scotty (Scot Styris) said, that energy sometimes you get from crowds, particularly in India, the IPL has moved to the UAE, but in India, it can sometimes act like a 12th man for the home team,” he said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) head coach Simon Katich had said that younger guys will feel less pressure in front of empty stadiums but it could be a challenge for the senior cricketers.
Earlier, experienced mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton had said that cricketers like Virat Kohli who depend on external stimulation and are used to ‘pressure’ are “really going to struggle” in front of empty stadium but self-motivated players will “do a hell lot better” in this year’s IPL.
Moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s biggest T20 league this year will be played across the three venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face off against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 19.