Virat Kohli, the skipper of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in IPL 2020, has stressed upon the need for players to respect the bio-bubble that has been put in place in the UAE in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Royal Challengers Bangalore players have been practicing in Dubai and Virat Kohli has had some decent net sessions. This is the first time that the Indian cricket team skipper has gone into an intense training since March as all cricket activity in India was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to the franchise on their social media handles, Kohli said following the bio-bubble protocol will only benefit the team and tournament. “This should not be a matter of pressure for anyone because of the magnitude of the COVID situation. We are all here to eventually play cricket and take care of this tournament and surroundings. The bio-bubble needs to be respected in order for the tournament to happen. We are here because we have the opportunity to play. We are not here to roam around and have fun. We are not living in such a time where we can hang around Dubai, we have to understand the privilege we have in front of us, everyone should accept it and they should not have unrealistic desires,” Kohli said.
Letting the team down
Kohli said that any breach of the bio-bubble protocol will be letting the entire team down and that is not acceptable to him. “If someone was to end up in such a situation or position, for me that’s letting the whole team down. Because it might happen at a stage of a tournament where we can’t afford to lose that player. If he does so, and we get harmed by it, then the whole team, the whole system, and culture loses. I just wanted to talk about this so that everyone understands the repercussions that may take place if someone violates the rules,” Kohli was firm in his assessment.
However, Kohli did not believe that this dictum put additional pressure on the side and especially on the youngsters. “I understand that you might not have had the balanced understanding of things, initially you might not have had clarity about so many things, even I did not have clarity initially. It should not be a thing of pressure, if someone guided me as to what is the right thing to do when I was new to the team, I would have loved it. I would have had a clear vision in front of me,” Kohli said.
The schedule for IPL 2020 has not yet been released due to Chenna Super Kings’ situation. Two players, Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested positive for the coronavirus and 11 staff members also were found positive for the pandemic. There is talk about Royal Challengers Bangalore playing the opening game against Mumbai Indians as Chennai Super Kings players will be in quarantine at least till September 6. The initial tournament would be played without fans, and all the teams would be staying in a bio-secure bubble as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.