Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik on Wednesday said his side would miss the fans who bring in a massive energy during IPL matches at the iconic Eden Gardens.
The IPL action will unfold before empty stands from September 19 in the UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will be missing our fans this year and the energy of Eden Gardens. We wanted to communicate directly with KKR fans, and wanted to convey what they mean to us. We do understand that they can't be here in person with us, but they will be in our heart," Karthik said here while launching a campaign titled "Tu Fan Nahi Toofan Hai!"
In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the tournament to be shifted out of India, KKR look to connect with their fans virtually across the globe.
With West Bengal hit by the double blow of Cyclone Amphan and the COVID-19 pandemic, the skipper said the season would be more for the people of the state.
"This year, it's not so much for us. We're playing for you all. We want to put a smile on their faces through our cricket. If we play the right brand of cricket, I''m sure we will make sure that you know we put a smile on every KKR fan out there."
KKR's left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who will be representing the team for his seventh season, said: "This year we want to win the title for our fans. They have given us so much love over the years, and this year even when they aren't with us, we can feel their support and energy.
"For KKR, our biggest strength is our fans. The players have always been inspired by the unwavering dedication of our fans who support the team in highs and lows," KKR CEO and MD Venky Mysore said.
Kolkata Knight Riders will play their first match against Mumbai Indians on September 23 here.