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IPL 2020: All work and a bit of play for the boys

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on August 25, 2020
Rajasthan Royals player Shreyas Gopal keeping himself fit at the team hotel in Dubai. - Rajasthan Royals Twitter

The players from the eight franchises are working hard on their fitness but also enjoying some downtime too

'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' is a famous proverb but the players from the eight franchises, who have settled into the comforts of their new home in the UAE, are not living by that though.

They may be in the midst of a mandatory quarantine before they hit the ground running, and it may seem like transferring from one lockdown to another.

But it is not all that bad. It is not that these cricketers are stuck within the four walls and are just cooped up inside their rooms. There's a fair share of hard work and a bit of play too for these boys.

The new normal may be an entirely new experience for them but, like the amazing quality that we humans have, these players have adapted to the situation remarkably well.

And making their lives a tad easier and a lot more comfortable are the hotel properties the teams have chosen for their players. The cricketers have been welcomed to sea-facing resorts, with balconies with teams providing them training bikes, weights, swiss balls and blue bands.

It came as no surprise that Indian captain and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli set the ball rolling by working out on day one of the quarantine.

And all of the other players from the different franchises followed suit in their rooms, balconies and porches, doing their fitness drills.

Rohit Sharma, captain of defending champions the Mumbai Indians, and eyeing a record fifth title, worked out with his better half Ritika Sajdeh.

Chennai Super Kings' 'Chinna Thala' Suresh Raina had an intense session which brought memories of the movie 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,' flooding back.

The cricketers have had to not just juggle with their workouts but also the Covid-19 tests which they have had to undergo during quarantine. They also have indulged in Q&A sessions with fans on the team's various social media platforms. 

It is a pretty busy day, so to speak, from the moment they wake up, and they also have to keep in mind what they eat and drink. Being a supremely fit athlete doesn't come easy.

But then, it is not just all work and no play, as they say. 

After sweating it out in the humidity of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the players have chosen different ways to unwind. 

Following a good hot and cold shower post their workout sessions, some listen to music, while others are catching up on movies or web series on the various OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. There are also some who prefer to read a book.

Some of the cricketers are here with their families so they have someone to talk to and be with. But for most of them, it is a bit of a tough gig, being alone, especially since they are not allowed to meet.

But they do manage to catch up with their teammates or the support staff with a wave or a holler from across their balconies or porches.

Riyan Parag, of the Rajasthan Royals, has his 'family' or rather, his 'kids' along with him on this trip.

The 18-year-old, who became the youngest player to score an IPL half-century against the Delhi Capitals last season, has four soft toys. And he has names for them too. Sydney, Maera, Oscar and Samaera are giving him company during quarantine and will do so over the course of the tournament.

He had Leo too earlier but he gifted him to a cute little girl during a flight last season.

Who said boys don't love soft toys?!

james@khaleejtimes.com


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