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India cricketers unwind with board, card games in bio-bubble

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By Khurram Habib

Ahmedabad, March 3 (IANS) Members of the Indian cricket team who have stuck to their hotel-to-practice routine here, just like they did in Australia recently, are unwinding in the team room at a five-star hotel here, playing games like Uno, a card game, carrom, table tennis, Playstation, and watching movies etc.

“All these facilities are there in the big team room where the players mix together to play card and board games as well as table tennis. They also eat together often. These are tough times (due to Covid pandemic). But these facilities help them stay relaxed in the bio bubble,” said a source at Hyatt Regency hotel.

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R. Ashwin had said on Saturday that these activities and living with each other in the bio-bubble has helped in team bonding. The bonding seems to be reflecting in results, especially during the tough tour of Australia.

Living a hectic life and out of sight of the common man is nothing new for the Indian team.

Other than the team not visiting restaurants or fellow players’ houses, not much has changed with the way the players live while playing in India.

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Even then though things can get monotonous as Ashwin commented the other day. That is why these activities help them stay relaxed.

Outdoors for India is only for practice and injury scanning. Otherwise they cannot move out.

England, on the other hand, have been a bit more adventurous even visiting a golf course just a day after they lost the third Test inside three days.

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The golf course was also put in a bio-bubble for them with no one else allowed to visit the course.

But with the weather getting hot and the visitors getting hit by a sickness bug that is believed to be diarrhoea, it is unlikely that they will be taking any more chances during their stay which is till March 20 when the last T20 International gets staged here.

India skipper Virat Kohli had said previously that a key benefit of playing overseas is that they are able to move around and sit in cafeterias and restaurants.

But even that has become unsafe during the times of Covid-19 restrictions as the Indian team found out recently while touring Australia.

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini were alleged to have broken quarantine protocols while eating out in a Melbourne restaurant after the Boxing Day Test.

Their pictures were put out on social media by a fan.

It turned into a massive controversy before the matter was closed and teams allowed to travel to Sydney for the third Test.

–IANS

kh/kr

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