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Home / Cricket / Cricket will emerge a different sport in post-Covid world: Sachin Tendulkar | EXCLUSIVE

Cricket will emerge a different sport in post-Covid world: Sachin Tendulkar | EXCLUSIVE

Sachin Tendulkar Birthday: In a chat with Hindustan Times, Sachin Tendulkar speaks about routines athletes need to follow during the lockdown to keep themselves fit and motivated, and how cricket will emerge as a different sport post this pandemic.

cricket Updated: Apr 24, 2020 14:05 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Celebrations also... one can’t do high-fives or hug each other. The game will restart after we overcome this challenge, but I feel that element [of fear] will stay somewhere in the back of the mind: Sachin Tendulkar
Celebrations also... one can’t do high-fives or hug each other. The game will restart after we overcome this challenge, but I feel that element [of fear] will stay somewhere in the back of the mind: Sachin Tendulkar(AFP)

This will be a very different 24th April for Sachin Tendulkar, who will have to spend his 47th birthday celebrating at home with his family, and looking at ways to help with the fight against Covid-19. In a chat with Hindustan Times, a day before his birthday, he speaks about routines athletes need to follow during the lockdown to keep themselves fit and motivated, and how cricket will emerge as a different sport post this pandemic.

Excerpts:

Q: In lockdown one has not much to do. What’s your routine?

My day starts with exercise. Then (I get busy) with stuff related to Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar Sports Management (SRTSM) where we discuss all pending things.

With the lockdown, both Anjali and me are getting a lot of time with our kids. I have not been travelling, so my mother is also getting lots of time with me.

We are playing board games, watching movies and TV series, and listening to music right from the 70s to this day. The children and me take turns (picking songs) so we can develop a taste for their type of music. They already know my type of music.

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(For sportspeople), it’s equally important to know (when to) switch on and switch off. You have to keep your mental fitness going as well, it’s not just about physical fitness. If you are mentally healthy, you know this time will pass too. And when it passes, you are in a good state of mind to move on to the next challenge.

How difficult will it be for top level players to get back into rhythm once cricket resumes?

I’m sure no tournament is going to happen out of the blue. Nobody is going to say that today the lockdown is over from tomorrow you have to go out and play a match. So players will get time to prepare. All these current players have a certain level of fitness and for that to diminish, it takes a long time. It all depends on how smartly you want to utilise this time and move forward.

Post COVID-19 how do you see the game changing? There is a lot of debate on the use of saliva to maintain the ball. Your thoughts?

The method of shining the ball is going to change now. I don’t know what it will be as a lot of it would have to do with hygiene. Celebrations also (will change); one can’t do high-fives or hug each other. Hopefully the game will start after we overcome this challenge but I feel that element will stay somewhere in the back of the mind. It will eventually boil down to the hygiene levels we maintain. So, to maintain certain level of hygiene not just during this phase but post this phase is also going to be critical for everyone.

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It would be a strange feeling to be inside an empty stadium. Because you draw lot of energy from the crowd after hitting a boundary or after taking a wicket. So, you are not going to get all that. It may even seem like net practice. Drawing that energy from the spectators, that feel is going to be lost without any doubt.

There are reports of Cricket Australia planning a Test series with India exclusively at Adelaide Oval with players staying in the ground’s new hotel. What do you think of the idea?

I don’t endorse it all. It’s not something I’m particularly excited about. You could maybe look at a one-day series but to have 25 days of Test cricket at one venue…I don’t endorse that.

The IPL has been put on the backburner now. How will it impact the people involved?

Lockdown is for everyone. It will be unfair to single out just the IPL as a tournament and say so many people are losing their livelihoods. We need to understand why this is happening. This is all happening in the interest of our nation, and nothing comes above that.

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