Harbhajan: Don't mind playing IPL in empty stadiums

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

Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina relax ahead of an IPL game in 2019 at the Wankhede Stadium.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said he won’t mind an IPL 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 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 when everything is fine,” he added.

The BCCI has suspended the IPL 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 happens soon, till then I will keep myself fit,” quipped the 39-year-old veteran of 103 Tests.

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