Karthik has no qualms playing in empty stadiums, says ”grew up” playing without crowd

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik has no qualms playing top-flight cricket in empty stadiums as a majority of the players “have grown up” turning out in domestic matches with few watching them.

Opinions are divided on whether sporting events, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), should be held behind closed doors once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“For a lot of us, we have grown up playing domestic cricket without crowds. So it should not be too new to us,” Karthik said during an Instachat with former England medium-pacer turned commentator Isa Guha on Thursday.

The 34-year-old out-of-favour India stumper added, “It would feel weird for sure. We have never played IPL without fans but we have grown up playing domestic cricket where nobody is watching us.”

The pandemic has led to either cancellation or postponement of all sporting events across the world, including the Tokyo Olympics, the biggest of them all.

During the chat session, Karthik also spoke about cricket commentators’ tendency to at times come up with controversial remarks about players.

“Lot of players get hurt by what commentators say. See they are talking about you as a player and not a person. One more thing, if they don’t talk about you then you are not relevant is what I feel.

“I remember watching an interview by Ian Chappell. When a player walked up to him and asked why you said this about me, he said ‘your job is to play…my job is to talk. Lets stick to our jobs’.

“Then there was not so much social media but now there is.”