Delhi Capitals Chairman and Co-owner Parth Jindal said resumption of the Indian Premier League, even if it takes place without spectators, can play a huge role in uplifting the spirits of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The IPL was originally scheduled to be staged from March 29 to May 24 but was indefinitely postponed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Speaking on the possibility of IPL 2020 happening behind closed doors during an Instagram live session hosted by his franchise, Jindal said, “Covid-19 has put live sport in a difficult spot, especially in terms of fan engagement. The need for live sport has never been felt in this way before, and it’s vital to bring it back to heighten the morale of the population, to bring back the feel-good factor.”

“Globally, there are countries far more affected than India who are gradually resuming their national leagues – like the Premier League in England, Bundesliga in Germany has already started, then La Liga is starting in Spain, maybe Serie A in Italy. Talks have begun on the NBA’s comeback in America too. I feel the IPL has a huge role in uplifting the spirits of the country.”

“There can be no substitute for live sport. Fans may not have access to stadiums this year, but that will give the franchises and broadcasters an opportunity to innovate their fan engagement even more.” he added.

Recalling the previous season where Delhi Capitals reached the playoffs after a long gap, Jindal credited the Ricky Ponting-Sourav Ganguly duo that was at the helm of affairs.

“2019 was about setting standards, and creating a culture. And Ricky [Ponting] and Dada [Sourav Ganguly] did a wonderful job of it, creating a fantastic team environment, and a unit that gelled well on and off the field. The idea was to build this team by maintaining consistency, so instead of frequent chop and change, we decided to back all our players even if they’d had a couple of bad games, and the results were there to see.”

With the addition of two experienced campaigners to the Delhi Capitals squad in Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin, Jindal believes the duo will add firepower to the side.

“I believe Delhi Capitals has all the ingredients of becoming the IPL’s most successful franchise. And the addition of Rahane and Ashwin makes us an even more potent side. It gives the captain and coach options for all possible situations. Rahane is willing to bat at any position he’s needed in, while Ashwin’s bowling is well suited for the Kotla wicket. There’s no doubt DC is the team to beat, and we need to build on from last year’s success,” he added.

Jindal also spoke about the fact Delhi will succeed in IPL if they build a team that is cheered and supported by the residents of the city even when Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni’s teams are in town.