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IPL 2020

IPL 2020: Kohli urges teammates to follow UAE Covid protocols Filed on August 25, 2020
Virat Kohli meant business straight away in first virtual team meeting. - Twitter

One mistake could spoil whole tournament, RCB skippers warns.

Virat Kohli's refusal to go for the jugular and his desire to play classically correct shots even in T20 cricket has already earned him an admirer in Brian Lara.

Last year during an interaction with aspiring cricketers in Dubai, the iconic West Indian urged everyone that wants to become a good batsman to learn from the Indian captain who never hits the ball in the air until he is completely in control.

The Indian captain's 'play it safe' approach had made him arguably the greatest batsman in the history of limited overs cricket and the sport has never known a bigger match-winner in a run-chase.

So it's not surprising then that the 31-year-old Kohli urged all the players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to stay safe and follow the protocols during a tournament that will be played in a bio-secure bubble to negate the threat of Covid-19.

During the IPL's first virtual team meeting, the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper reminded the players of the dangers of not following the rules as one mistake could ruin the whole tournament.

"We have followed what's been told to us and I would expect everyone to be on the same page in terms of securing the bubble at all times and making sure that nothing is compromised," the Indian superstar said.

"Because I think one mistake by any one of us could literally spoil the whole tournament. And none of us want to do that. We have to understand that we need to protect the bubble."

And developing a good team culture is important as the players get used to the new normal of playing a big tournament with strict health protocols in place.

"I can't wait to get to our first practice session, something that we all are going to cherish. An opportunity to create a good team culture from Day 1," he said.

"For me it's all about what can I do to create an environment where everyone feels a part of the team equally and everyone feels responsible for where we want to go equally.

"And I think all of us have to contribute towards that. Firstly the seniors in the team. So let's start things on the right note."

Kohli said players needed to get used to the new normal quickly.

"From my end it's very awkward to have a welcome meeting like this but (this is) something that we probably have to get used to quite a bit," he said.

"I think we have done pretty well to Dubai firstly safe and sound."

Meanwhile, Mike Hesson, RCB's director of cricket operations, said players that violate the rules will face serious consequences.

"It (violation) will be dealt with very seriously. For accidental breach, players will be removed and sent into isolation for seven days and then come back only after he tests negative," he said.

"There will be strong consequences if players chose to do that (violate protocols). Players will sign a document which explains the consequences," Hesson said.

The 2020 edition of the world's richest T20 league will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have left no stone unturned in their attempt to deliver a safe and successful tournament.




Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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