Players at Mushtaq Ali T20 train, bond through video-calling apps

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By Khurram Habib

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Players locked up in their hotel rooms for a week-long quarantine ahead of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, the first domestic event of the season, have been using video-calling apps to follow their workout schedules as well as to have team-bonding sessions through games and entertainment.

Due to strict quarantine measures, each player and support staff has a room to himself but he cannot step out of it. The food tray is delivered at the doorstep while all training sessions and even entertainment is held via a video-calling app.

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Former India pace bowler Pankaj Singh, who is representing Puducherry in the tournament, told IANS from Mumbai, “We are having fitness classes twice a day. The entire team is doing it. The instructors and coaching staff have devised a schedule. We have fitness, rehab, games, entertainment and team-bonding sessions. The programme has been made to ensure that we effectively utilise the time we have during the quarantine.”

While there are no equipment other than resistance equipment like theraband and loopband, used for strength-building, the players are using body weight for exercises.

“We have heavy workout using body weight in the morning while in the evening we work on stretching, flexibility, mobility and core,” adds Pankaj who says the players are ‘grateful to be playing in these times’.

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“Little obstacles don’t matter. We are grateful we are playing in these times.”

Delhi coach Rajkumar Sharma added, “It is a difficult period but we are also trying to have zoom sessions for fitness and training – of about 45 minutes to an hour. We have bought a video-calling package (with unlimited access) through which the trainer guides us.”

Delhi trainer Umesh Chhikara said he is focussing on opening the body and warming up each and every part by working through the body.

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“We are not allowed to step out of our rooms. But that is no hindrance as far as fitness goes. I have had two sessions back-to-back. I am focussing on opening the body, working through it and warming up each and every body part. Then mixing strengthening and mobility in it,” said Chhikara who is also an expert on mobility.

“We use body-weight to do exercises. We have 10 minutes relaxation after that,” added the Delhi trainer.

Both Delhi and Puducherry are grouped with Haryana, Andhra, Mumbai and Kerala in Elite E group and will play all their matches in Mumbai.

–IANS

kh/rt

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