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Ajinkya Rahane in action for Rajasthan Royals in an earlier edition of the IPL. Image Credit: PTI file

Dubai: Ajinkiya Rahane, India’s Test vice-captain who was traded to Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020 season, feels that it won’t be exactly a new experience for cricketers if the league is finally played behind closed doors.

“As for IPL or any other sport, I feel it could be played without spectators. All of us have played domestic cricket in almost empty stadiums, so that’s an experience all cricketers are used to. Of course we are nothing without our fans, and that’s why their safety is of utmost importance. Even if they get to watch some live action from home, I am sure that will be an enjoyable experience as well.

‘‘The safety of fans is key and if we need to play in empty stadiums for that, we are open to do it,” the soft-spoken Rahane said in an instagram chat on the official handle of his franchise.

The 13th edition of IPL has been postponed indefinitely in view of the coronavirus pandemic, though there is only a remote posibility of a window for the league in September-October - subject to a global improvement of the situation.

“COVID-19 pandemic has taught everyone that unexpected things can happen, therefore we need to be happy about what we are doing and should value what we have. It is also important that we maintain positivity and patience in our daily lives and I believe it will certainly help us in finding a way forward,” said ‘Jinx’, as he popular as among his teammates.

A Rajasthan Royals loyalist for a long time, the senior middle-order batsman was bought by Delhi Capitals last year before the IPL auction, and reveals he is really excited about playing for the Delhi-based franchise. “I’m really excited and looking forward to playing for Delhi. It is something I’ve really been eager about, and it has stemmed in because of the things I’ve heard about the team from the likes of Ishant, Shikhar, and Shreyas. They’ve told me that it’s like a huge family where everyone is always backing each other and enjoying each other’s successes,” said Rahane.

Asked about playing under head coach Ricky Ponting, Rahane said he has always admired the Australian legend. “My idols growing up were definitely Rahul Sir and Sachin Sir, but I’ve always admired Ricky Sir also. I used to try to copy his batting and fielding styles. Therefore, I’m really looking forward to working under him. I’m sure he will help me immensely in my batting as well as overall leadership,” said the former captain of the Rajasthan franchise.