With the Indian Premier League (IPL) postponed indefinitely, like the remainder of us, Indian cricketers too are doing laundry, cooking and consuming chocolate. We verify in on them…
For Suresh Raina, who performs for Chennai Super Kings, COVID-19 has rekindled reminiscences of time spent on the Sports Hostel in Kanpur, the place he was coaching to change into a cricketer.
“Cooking, washing clothes, cleaning floors were an integral part of my daily chores at the hostel. COVID-19 has taught us all some harsh lessons in life that we had forgotten or chosen to ignore. I am lucky to be able to have a home where I am looking after my family but I am deeply pained by the misery around,” says Raina.
Used to a busy way of life of residing out of a suitcase for 10 months a 12 months and performing in entrance of 1000’s of spectators at packed stadiums, Raina settles right down to mirror on his life and profession.
“Cricket is not on my mind really. Most of the day is taken away by my daughter (Gracia) and newborn son (Rio),” he says. Apart from meditation, yoga and workouts, Raina loves one explicit each day routine. “Combing my daughter’s hair. [My children] keep me very busy and I just love it when they demand attention. Seeing my daughter grow is such a lovely feeling. I have to be at her service 24×7,” he provides.
The Porsche he drove round in Chennai during the IPL is just not in his storage any extra.
“Once I took my father for a drive in the Porsche. He said nothing but sold it off after convincing me. Not because he needed money. He wanted me to be safe. ‘Too fast’ was what he did not like about the car. I now have five sports cycles for the family. There is one of Tour de France standard.”
Shikhar Dhawan is thought to make bowlers dance to his tunes on the crease. With COVID-19 confining him to the serene atmosphere of his dwelling, Shikhar has found new methods to maintain himself engaged, and a flute has come to switch the bat.
“I have two compartments in my life — cricket and family. Now it is just family. Cricket will be there whenever we resume playing. Until then, it will be my family and me. And of course my love for playing the flute,” says Shikhar, who performs for Delhi Capitals within the IPL, including that he all the time needed to study to play the flute.
“My guru is Shri Venugopal of Dharwar. I have been taking lessons from him since 2015 and I am pleased with my progress. I have maintained my daily schedule of training, gym work, meditation, cooking, cleaning and washing like everyone else but my sessions of learning the flute are the ones I look forward to.”
Shikhar has specialised in a few of the raagas and the flute weans him away from the negativity that has gripped individuals. For him, setting apart time to play along with his six-year-old son Zoravar is “special”. This “bonding” with the household is to be “cherished”, he asserts.
“I love spirituality. It teaches you the values of being a good human being. There is so much to learn and enjoy. Why sulk at things beyond your control? There is no place for despondency in my life.”
Dhawan indicators off with a promise. “Someday I would love to play the flute for you at a concert.”
These are robust instances. Unlike the daunting challenges of a state of affairs on the cricket discipline, the COVID-19 pandemic has left the world of sport bleeding.
Cricket stadiums in India would have been reverberating with the applause of packed audiences on the IPL matches, however they’ve all gone silent now. Cricketers have opted to numerous strategies to remain targeted with a hope that competitions could resume within the close to future.
The captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, Dinesh Karthik, is optimistic too.
He has a each day schedule in place with slots reserved for coaching. “And a slot reserved for Coco Chanel, my four-year-old doggie. I love the affection and loyalty in the eyes of Coco,” he says.
“COVID-19 has allowed me to spend quality time with my family. I am spending more time with my dad (V Krishnakumar) who is [otherwise] abroad most of the time.”
The wicketkeeper batsman says he has learnt an essential factor in these difficult instances.
“The resilience and the ability of humans to fight amidst everything. People suffering has been the hardest to deal with for me, I don’t know if the things I do matter for the people who are struggling. I only want them to have the strength to get through these tough times,” he says.
On the lighter aspect, Karthik has rediscovered an previous behavior from his childhood. “My love for chocolates,” he says, including, “I am good at stealing them when my wife goes to sleep.”
Hinaya Heer is Harbhajan Singh’s “best friend” and he simply adores her. The three-year-old is the “fairy” who has introduced such “joy” to his life, he says.
“My daughter is my world and I am loving every moment that I get to spend with her,” says the jovial off-spinner.
Harbhajan says that he has learnt to dwell in a different way in these testing instances.
“My day is dictated by Hinaya. She keeps me on my toes. She has learned a card game called UNO, and I have to play it endlessly. It is an interesting game and becomes all the more interesting because of the rules that she sets. Anyone can win, but in my house only Hinaya wins. That’s how the game pans out. I love losing (to her) actually,” Harbhajan says.
He can also be utilizing the time to study cooking.
“It has change into a pastime now. I’ve picked up fairly a couple of recipes corresponding to bhindi aamchuri, aloo gobi, arbi with gravy and dal with totally different tadkas. I’ve been experimenting too with my cooking and have earned the appreciation of (spouse) Geeta. I’ve come a great distance from having corn flakes for dinner after I was taking part in county cricket in England,” says Harbhajan.
On not having the ability to play IPL for CSK, Harbhajan says, “There is a beautiful life outside cricket and I am discovering it with my family. Yes, I miss the sport but I also realise that these are exceptional circumstances where cricket can’t be your priority. I am very distressed at the plight of the poor who are struggling to stay afloat.”
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who performs for Royal Challengers Bangalore within the IPL, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed him to spend so much of time along with his household.
He says this has not been potential over the past 15 years when he was engaged on being a cricketer, and travelling continually. “The best thing now is that I am getting home food which I missed all these years. This phase, I can say, is kind of a family reunion. My sister has also not been able to go back to Australia and we have so much to talk about with our parents,” he says.
Ensconced inside his newly-built dwelling in Gurugram, the previous National under-12 champion who additionally represented India on the World Youth Chess Championship in Greece earlier than cricket turned an obsession, says, “Cricket kept me busy but, of late, I have been playing online chess and challenging my father (Krishan Kumar Chahal) to a few contests. In fact, I did two charity events for chess. I have been doing a lot of other things like watching videos of my old matches to stay motivated and learning to dance. Then there are the workouts too.”
When he’s not busy with the household, Chahal spends time along with his pets — Groot and Scotty, a black Retriever and a German Shepherd. “I just love to play with them.”