The Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has started. The IPL 2020 fans became witness to completely alien settings and conditions as Chennai Super Kings pacer Deepak Chahar bowled the first ball of IPL 2020 to Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma.
Though the fans must have felt relived that the season at-last has started. But even the most staunchest of the backer would admit the experience of viewing IPL wasn’t the same.
The IPL buzz, the madness, the flavor, the IPL fever above all the fans presence & involvement in the game were missed by each and everyone.
The five things fans missed the most as the opening match was played on Saturday night were –
IPL 2020 Starts : The empty stands is not what IPL is all about
Fans make the sport, this till date was just a cliche for everyone, but what it actually meant must have got understood on Saturday night.
Without Crowds in the stands, IPL viewing experience wasn’t the same.
The buzz was missing, the involvement of 50,000-60,000 fans in the stands were missed and missed were faces in the stadium that narrate and showcase every possible human emotion as the game of glorious uncertainties swing from one to another.
Above all fans missed the sense of belonging and togetherness that one gets while watching cricket games in our part of the world.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said, “We are used to people cheering for us but we knew that this was on the cards. Anyway, this is the new normal and I hope things get better soon.”
IPL 2020 Fans missed real expressions : Star Sports attempt to add canned screams and joys made it unreal
The official broadcaster tried desperately to create same viewing experience for the IPL fans sitting at home. Star Sports canned screams and joys and tried inserting the same on the live feed – but it all looked unreal.
Even at some places, the screams were inserted at wrong places further frustrating the fans.
IPL 2020 : Fans missed the Cheerleaders
The Covid shadow enveloped the tournament starter in other ways as well.
The IPL in the time of pandemic also threw up digital cheerleaders. To mask the absence of crowd in the stands, a long digital signboard spread out like an arc, square of the pitch. It showed visuals of cheer girls dancing after a four or a six was hit.
IPL Fans on social media lambasted the move as ‘failed attempt’
IPL 2020 : Fans missed the pent-up celebrations by the players
Sports is all about unadulterated show of passion and emotions with players on the ground as it’s real protagonist.
The subdued celebrations, show of emotions due to Covid-19 led restrictions was quite a dampener.
It was strange to see Lungi Ngidi instinctively went for a high-five after taking a wicket, but didn’t receive any open palms from his cautious teammates.
Fans missed real show of emotions, celebrations from their star cricketers.
IPL 2020 : Where are those million-dollar reactions in the dug-outs ?
IPL always brings fans closer to their stars – to the dug-outs, team rooms but all that was a miss.
Because of the Covid protocols, the players at the dug-out chose to sit in foldable chairs at a short distance from one another. The proximity, camaraderie between the players – the million dollar reactions to each situation that get captured on camera were all a miss.
Kudos to BCCI and all others who got IPL 2020 off the ground – but IPL fans will eagerly wait for the real IPL to make a comeback as soon as possible.