As the coronavirus pandemic is easing down at some parts of the world, sporting events are getting fuel to restart. Football leagues in Europe such as Bundesliga, Premier League and La Liga have resumed. However, no crowds have been allowed keeping in mind the safety of players.
All the matches are being played behind the closed doors. This same pattern will be followed when international cricket resumes with England and West Indies squaring off in a Test series next month.
However, this is something Indian limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma doesn’t advocate. The Mumbai batsman had previously talked about the importance of crowds in any sporting event. In another recent interaction, he emphasised how the support of the fans enhances the experience of playing for your country.
“You never realize you’re playing for the Indian cricket team until you witness the support of the fans,” Rohit said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
Our hotel was full of fans: Rohit Sharma
Recalling an old match, Sharma made his point how fans’ celebration adds to the flavour of the game. He talked about the 2007 T20 World Cup semi-final match win for India against Australia. A young team under MS Dhoni had beaten Australia in the semi-final by 15 runs in Durban.
At the time, Australia was three-time running champions of the 50-overs World Cup. In fact, they had won the 2007 50 Overs World Cup just a few months back. But, India managed to beat Australia to set up a final clash with Pakistan.
“I still remember when we won against Australia in the semi-final in 2007, our hotel was full of fans and they were all celebrating and dancing, I couldn’t believe my eyes as I hadn’t seen anything like this before. You always see fans in the stadium but that day at the hotel, seeing all of those supporters, I felt that it is the fans’ passion and love that keeps the team going,” he added.
It was a fantastic win for India. After managing to qualify for the semi-finals, Dhoni’s young brigade didn’t get off to a great start. However, Yuvraj Singh changed the course of the match with a 30-ball 70. India ended with a huge total of 188 runs.
Australia was in course for a win but the Indian bowlers put their brake on their innings. The Aussies ended up losing the match by 15 runs. India went on to lift the inaugural T20 World Cup a few days later in Johannesburg.
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