Everyone is looking forward to the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) later this year. However the buzz of IPL this year will be completely different as it will be held outside India. UAE for the second time is all set to host the most competitive and prominent T20 league in the world.
Star Australian player Steve Smith is all pumped up to play some cricket after several months of lockdown. The Rajasthan Royal player is also looking forward to playing some compelling cricket against his IPL teammates in England. Australia and England will lock horns against each other in a limited over a tour later this year. Smith will be up against his Royals teammates such as Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes.
“It will be great to play some cricket. Like most of the world, we are also in sort of shutdown. We also had to find a way through this COVID experience, which has been incredibly difficult for everyone”, Smith said in a media interaction on Thursday after a special screening of the documentary “Inside Story: A season with Rajasthan Royals”.
Disappointing – Steve Smith on IPL not happening in India
“It will be great to play some compelling cricket against a quality England outfit. A few of my Royals teammates are there. Hopefully, they don’t score too many runs or take wickets in that series and save that for IPL”, Smith said.
Steve Smith, who is considered of the great modern-day batsman also talked about the challenges players will face as they will be away from their families for an extended period. He also expressed his disappointment about IPL not happening in India this year. Smith added that the most important thing this year for all players will be to adapt to conditions in UAE.
Smith said, “It will be difficult for anyone being away from their loved ones for an extended period. You kind of get used to it playing international cricket. You do spend a long time apart and will find a way to make it work”.
“Part of being a professional cricketer is being able to adapt to any condition. That’s going to be a pretty key message. Conditions in Dubai can be similar to India, it can be different. It’s about adapting on the run. A couple of players have experience playing there. Guys are going to be jumping out of their skin to play cricket. Disappointing it is not in India, but the important thing is to perform”, he added.
Meantime, IPL 2020 will take place in bio-secure environments this year to ensure the safety of all players. The BCCI has already confirmed that IPL this year will be contested in UAE between September 19- November 8. UAE had earlier hosted the IPL once back in 2014 due to the general elections taking place in India.