May 8, 2020 / 6:17 PM / a month ago

Magic of playing in packed stadiums will be missed, says Kohli

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - India v New Zealand - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 10, 2019 India's Virat Kohli reacts after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

(Reuters) - The magical atmosphere will be missing if the cricket season currently stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic resumes in empty stadiums, India captain Virat Kohli has said.

The spread of the novel coronavirus has brought sport to a standstill and staging games without spectators has been suggested as one way to resume professional cricket.

“Things will still go on, but I doubt that one will feel that magic happening inside because of the atmosphere that was created,” Kohli said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected Show.

“We will play sports how it is supposed to be played, but those magical moments will be difficult to come by.”

India are set to visit Australia for four tests and three one-day internationals later this year, games which are likely to be played in empty stadiums.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes said playing without fans in attendance would not dampen the competitive side of matches and Kohli agrees.

“I know matches will be played at a very good intensity but that feeling of the crowd connecting with the players and the tension of the game where everyone goes through it in the stadium, those emotions are difficult to recreate,” he said.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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