With Covid-19 cases in the country rising exponentially, Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings in two separate video messages have urged people to take necessary precautions and remain safe ahead of the clash in Mumbai on Sunday.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers appeared in the video for Royal Challengers Bangalore while Suresh Raina and Deepak Chahar featured in the video shared by CSK.
IPL, the world’s premier T20 franchise tournament has been going ahead in strict bio-bubble environments across India which has been hit hard by the second wave of Covid-19. India on Saturday registered a new daily high of nearly 3.5 lakh cases and 2,760 fatalities. Following the deadly surge, the country's tally climbed to 1,69,60,172, while active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark. India reports 3,49,691 new COVID-19 cases, 2,767 deaths, and 2,17,113 discharges in the last 24 hours.
Stay at home, maintain social distancing
“The situation in the world right now is very tough. Covid-19 has affected millions of lives. It’s time all of us do our bit. Stay at home, maintain social distancing and help whoever we can. Most importantly, keep your masks up. Be a superhero and wear a mask,” Suresh Raina said in a video message.
Protect yourself, your family and everyone around
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli in the video shared by RCB said, “Hi, I am Virat Kohli, as a captain, I try to lead from the front and help people around. I request you to do the same. Sanitise your hands, step out only when it’s absolutely necessary and wear your mask at all times. Protect yourself, your family and everyone around,”
Former South Africa star AB de Viliers stressed the need to stay indoors and mask up and follow protocols when absolutely necessary to head out.
“You can’t wait for a superhero when the going gets tough. You have to be your own superhero. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the best way to keep yourself and others safe is by being at home. When you absolutely have to go out, make sure you wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Together, let’s survive these tough times.
Glenn Maxwell said the cricketers are privileged to provide entertainment in these tough times but the superstar Australia all-rounder asked for something in return from the fans.
“Hey, guys our priority right now is to provide entertainment and hopefully, plenty of joy. But I am asking something in return, please follow all the health and safety protocols and stay safe and beat Covid-19,” Maxwell said.
In the contest between number one and number two ranked teams, Chennai Super Kings won the toss and chosen to bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium.
CSK captain MS Dhoni said that all-rounder Moeen Ali, who has turned into a vital cog at the top of the order for the three-time champions this season, is unfit. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has also been dropped while all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and spinner Imran Tahir come in.
RCB captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, said that they have dropped Kane Richardson and Shahbaz Ahmed for Dan Christian and Navdeep Saini, respectively.