Royal Challengers Bangalore wicketkeeper batsman AB de Villiers has said the IPL 2020 is the most significant IPL of all times due to the ‘strange times’ the planet if facing. Calling IPL a ‘burst of light’ in a ‘season of darkness’, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, de Villiers said the tournament is helping people smile even in tough times.
“Perhaps, in this season of darkness, IPL is providing a burst of light, a moment of excitement, a happy distraction, is a beacon of hope amid the gloom, is raising a smile through the tears,” he wrote in Hindustan Times.
“Maybe, in these very strange times, this 13th edition of the tournament can be the most important, the most significant IPL of all.
“Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying cricket alone can make anything better, but cricket can generate some good news amid all the bad news, and so assume a valuable role.”
De Villier gave a sneak peek into the life of an IPL player inside the bio-secure bubble, saying they barely speak to anyone outside the squad.
“We barely speak to anyone outside our squad – there can be four teams practising at one venue at the same time and nobody is allowed to mix – so we spend all of our time within our units. We get to know each other better. We talk about our families and our lives,” he said.
“Of course, we miss the people, the crowds and the special buzz of an IPL in India. At RCB, we miss our deafening Chinnaswamy! Yet, within the broader context, we are safe, well organised and extremely grateful.
“And when we play, when we go out to bat or bowl or field, we are mindful of literally hundreds of millions people throughout India and around the world watching the matches on their televisions at home.”
De Villiers said the IPL is ‘very special’ this year.
“This is a unique period in all of our lives, and this is starting to feel like a very special IPL.”
De Villiers has made 228 runs in 7 innings at a strike rate of 185.37. His performances have played a key role in RCB winning five of their seven matches so far.