In a year where sport has been struck by the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic, it is just not the Indian Olympic hopefuls who are training for the day competition resumes.
The Indian cricketers, too, are keeping themselves fit and ready for the upcoming season, the Indian Premier League particularly, the future of which is still hanging in balance.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s and Gujarat’s experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel is among those working on their fitness and following instructions of strength and condition coach Shanker Basu in a bid to be ready for the big-ticket event.
“Yes, I am following a day-to-day programme from the RCB. I am getting all the training stuff from the coaches, I am in regular touch with Basu, so I’m trying to keep myself fit. I have a gym at home, so I try to touch all bases,” he told Mail Today.
“The future of IPL is something I can’t comment on because I am not in knowledge of when things will get back to normal. You can’t plan for anything tomorrow, let alone talk about planning for say July or August. So that’s something I don’t think about personally. Right now, there are bigger things at stake than sport. We in the (RCB) group are talking about it (IPL), and we are staying positive about the future. It’s important we stay fit for the day we can resume cricket on field,” he added.
Making best use of the free time, Parthiv, once Test cricket’s youngest wicketkeeper, is already planning life beyond playing cricket. Coaching lessons and media and broadcasting course are some of the things the left-handed batsman is currently engaged with.
“As a player you obviously know about the norms of cricket but I want to learn a few things, the technical aspect of the sport and so I am doing a coaching course. It is not a certificate course but it is for my experience. Then, I am doing a media and broadcasting course. I see my future in this — for the day whenever I retire. I have had a few commentary stints in the past and just trying to brush up my skills during this time. I am trying to make the best use of this time, which I otherwise wouldn’t get year-long due to cricket,” he said.
Parthiv lives in Ahmedabad, one of the worst COVID-19 hit cities in the country. Amidst the chaos, the 35-year-old Parthiv, who refused to disclose the charity worked he has done in the city, urged people to stay home and put his faith in the government to resolve the situation.
Moreover, he felt the lockdown has also come as a blessing to him as he gets to spend quality time with his daughter.
“It is important to stay at home, making sure you don’t go out. I believe that the government is trying their best but it’s also our responsibility to help them whichever way we can,” he said.
“Personally, it is a bit difficult, but I have accepted the situation by shifting my focus to training. I am spending a lot of time with my daughter. I have never got this much time at a stretch to stay with her at home. So this is a blessing in disguise.
“Something I have discovered about myself is that I can train alone. I don’t need to go to the field or a proper gym to do fitness. Cooking is a hobby which I have explored during this time too.”