Getting players ready will be biggest challenge: KKR CEO Venky Mysore Photograph:( AFP )
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore has suggested an interesting idea to make sure there is some sort of crowd atmosphere in the stadium during IPL 2020 while also keeping the social-distancing norms in mind.
Live sport is slowly crawling its way back to life albeit with no fans in the stadiums. However, given the lockdown measures and travel restrictions in India, there are major doubts over the future of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which stands suspended indefinitely. Matches with empty stands can be a tough take for players and even the fans, who are used to the jam-packed atmosphere during matches. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore has suggested an interesting idea to make sure there is some sort of crowd atmosphere in the stadium while also keeping the social-distancing norms in mind.
Mysore has said that organisers and stakeholders will face some challenges if IPL 2020 takes place later in the year. He said that with no crowd allowed in the stadium, revenues will take a major hit while adding technology will play a massive role in bringing some sort of crowd excitement into the matches. The KKR CEO has suggested the introduction of LED walls in the stands to allow fans to get involved in matches through VR sets.
"We're definitely going to have some challenges," Mysore said during an ESPNcricinfo Stump Mic podcast. "If we're lucky enough that things will settle down or the tournament will take place later this year, it's clearly going to be in what they'll call as a stadium lockdown mode. Which means straightaway the ticket revenues are affected, your food and beverage revenue is affected, the merchandising sales at the stadium is affected. The challenge to us is how do you activate the sponsors? Are there ways in which you can compensate for this?"
"Technology is going to play a massive role," Mysore said. "I am just saying, if you're thinking out of the box - an LED wall in stands where, through social media, [fans] can virtually be present there. There are people who'll be reacting the same way if they were physically at the ground. People have said something about simulation too.”
Mysore, further cited examples of America football, as he discussed the importance of home and away crowds during a tournament. However, he is strictly against the idea of calling IPL a glorified domestic tournament because the world acknowledges the quality of the tournament and it is the best of the best.
"I lived in the US for several years and became an American football fan. Home games and away games are big events there because the crowd becomes your twelfth man. So what visiting teams used to do when they practised was blast the crowd noise on the speakers, just to get used it. The noise can be deafening in matches," he said.
"Why [IPL] has caught the imagination of the country and the world is the quality of the product. The best of the best - this is the pinnacle," Mysore said. "So I'm of the strong view that the format of the tournament should not be tinkered with. It should not be a glorified domestic tournament."