With COVID-19 protocols in place, Jos Buttler has admitted that the IPL without fans is less emotional and very different as there is no reaction to the players’ efforts. He also opined that the lack of crowd sometimes acts as the beneficiary for young cricketers who can perform without pressure.
While there were talks of having a possible percentage audience present in the stands for the Indian Premier League, the idea was quashed by all authorities involved owing to the health hazard. Several cricketers were too confused on how the game would be, with even some admitting that it might be too pale for the cricketers, who could not bounce off the energy from the crowd. However, after one week, all such opinions have reduced with cricket being the sole focus.
In the absence of a crowd, Rajasthan Royals’ opener Jos Buttler admitted that the tournament is very different and starkly less emotional. He recalled how the crowd in the IPL games create a buzz and wave after every delivery alongside reacting quickly to almost every run of play. Buttler also stated that that’s the only difference between crowd and no-crowd as cricketers still continue being intense in the field.
“There is probably less emotion in the game. It’s different. It’s not that you lose intensity with the cricket but with crowd, especially in IPL, creates a buzz and every ball is a massive moment. You lose that reaction, almost. Cricket is the same but you lose that reaction to an amazing shot or a wicket or when the ball goes into the outfield that creates a massive amount of volume in IPL. That’s a difference,” Jos Buttler told the podcast ‘The Analyst inside cricket’.
In comparison, the English opener reckoned that Royals home ground, Sharjah had a lot more noise around the ground than Dubai.
“Sharjah seemed to have more noise around the ground than Dubai. Dubai was a lot quieter,” he added.
The 30-year-old also went on to make an interesting observation, surrounding the crowd in the context of the youngsters. Thus far in the tournament, several youngsters including the likes of Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Washington Sundar and Devdutt Padikkal have performed and outperformed the veterans. According to Buttler, due to loss of the fear factor with the crowd, the youngsters are able to perform exceedingly well without any pressure or fear.
“I also wonder if over time, pressure will be a little bit different. I think Dhoni or a Kohli, when they stride to wicket, the crowd is usually going crazy. Obviously, that doesn’t happen behind closed doors. Maybe that might help some of the younger guys who are playing against them as they might lose some of the fear factor as the crowd aren’t on their back,” he concluded.