Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik admits that his team will ‘massively’ miss the vibe of Eden Gardens, when the Indian Premier League gets underway in the United Arab Emirates from September 19.

He wants his team to perform well and put a smile on the faces of the KKR fans, who have backed them in every situation. “This year, we are playing for you all. All the atrocities that has happened in the world - pandemic, cyclone Amphan, the turmoil… we will be playing the tournament for two reasons - to win and of course for the people of West Bengal, for everybody who supported us,” Karthik told www.kkr.in  while launching the ‘Tu Fan Nahi Toofan Hai’ campaign.

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“We want to put a smile on their faces. If we play the right brand of cricket, I am sure we will make sure we can put a smile on every KKR fans’ face,” Karthik - who took charge as the captain of the team in 2018 - said.

“The crowd and the energy that is affiliated to Eden Gardens, Kolkata and the state of West Bengal is something special. Only if you come play for KKR, you realise it. Whoever your opponent is, every game they turn out in big numbers. We are not talking about 30 or 40 thousand people, we are talking about 60-70 thousand people coming out every time we play a game. The energy they bring is unbelievable. Their love and support for us have been consistent throughout our good or bad times. That’s why KKR crowd is a special crowd,” Karthik said, making it clear that they will miss the fans at Eden.

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Ever since its arrival in the UAE, the team has been inside a bio-bubble. “It’s a required thing. It also gives an opportunity to constantly be with your kith and kin, with your players. We miss going out sometimes, but that’s okay. I am willing to bargain that for a fact that we can play a tournament like the IPL,” Karthik said.

“Six months ago, when pandemic struck and we were in lockdown, all we wanted to do was to play the sport. Today, we have an opportunity to play the sport and more importantly, a tournament like the IPL, which is a tournament of big magnitude. If you get the opportunity to play there and the people are watching us on television, the least we could do is be in the bio-bubble and go through some hardships off the field and make sure that we put a smile on the (faces) of every person, who’s watching us…” the KKR captain stated.