Indian and Mumbai all rounder Shardul Thakur was seen to be practicing in the nets along with Mumbai teammate Hardik Tamore at a ground in Boisar, about 85 kilometers away from Mumbai. The video of him bowling to Tamore was circulated on WhatsApp, with questions of a breach of the lockdown being raised by netizens.
However, according to the new guidelines, the district of Palghar, in which Boisar is situated, is said to be in the green zone.
“Once the guidelines from the Palghar District collector were issued concerning sports, the aim was always to begin the training process. Due to the facility in Palghar district, we were able to facilitate the much-needed training programme for our players, starting with India and Mumbai players of the area,” said Ajinkya Naik, Mumbai Cricket Association apex council member.
Hardik Tamore and Sairaj Patil, an U23 batsman from Mumbai, took turns to bat. The pair batted for 2 and a half hours, starting from 8 in the morning.
“This was the first time I was batting after playing a Twenty20 match at Bhopal for DY Patil SA. Since then it has been workouts at home and batting drills. I was fine after taking some throw downs,” Tamore, who scored a hundred against Madhya Pradesh in Mumbai’s last Ranji Trophy match, told Hindustan Times.
Thakur has been training indoors since the commencement of the lockdown. This was the first time that he bowled since the 13th of March.
He told Hindustan Times, “It took some time to get used to running with spikes on as I was wearing them after a long time. I was to join the Chennai Super Kings training in Chennai on March 15, but IPL got postponed and I came home to Palghar on March 17.”
“It must be the first time since I learnt the importance of shining the ball that I did not shine it at all,” Thakur added, citing the issue of the ban of saliva to shine the Cricket ball.
According to Thakur, training everyday would not be productive, so he intends to return for another practice session after a gap of few days. He said, “Training everyday won’t be right after the long gap. We have to gradually get into it.”
Thakur said everyone took necessary precautions by wearing the mask on the way to the ground, and putting it on immediately after practice and maintaining social distance. “All the bowlers used their personal balls,” said Thakur.
“We love the game so much, it was only about going there and bowling. I was not thinking much, it was not a day to analyse. It is good that my body is not sore, I was in good rhythm, was generating speed, but for accuracy I will need a few more sessions; today, I was a bit haywire,” Thakur added.