Lockdown has taken a toll on cricketing activities throughout the globe. The sporting fraternity has taken the driver’s seat and is working round the clock to fulfill their duties as a member of the society. The world seems to have embraced newer methods to cope with the post-COVID world and the internet has been the medium of change.
Earlier, it was reported that Pakistan has officially continued training for their women player in the lockdown with the help of virtual sessions. Not only this, there were all sorts of seriousness around the exercise as the evaluation was also done. These methods are needed for international teams who have to make sure that an unplanned break does not hamper the sharpness of their players.
There is a concern to maintain the physical and mental strength of professionals. However, from Pakistan, we shall come to Indian where the state women’s blind cricket team of Kerala has availed virtual method to their use. Lockdown seems to have failed against the side who wasn’t willing to let their passion for the game take a halt. The coach of the team Vidya Vijayakumar has been training the side over WhatsApp.
Vijay is a former player of Pathanamthitta women’s cricket team. Apart from the virtual teachings, the players are practicing inside their homes to keep themselves in touch. The skipper of the side Thanooja George says “I’m focusing on improving my handgrip and strength while batting. Since blind cricket uses underarm bowling, we cannot practice hanging ball drills, where the ball is placed at a greater height”.
She practices some cricketing techniques and positions at home. Moreover, she is also going through matches on the television. The most encouraging aspect of the initiative is the fact that online sessions are also given to players on spoken English and house management. The sessions have been organized by Cricket Association for the Blind or CABK. However, amidst this one must not forget the complications faced by special cricketers.
The secretary of CABK, who is also the vice-president of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India, says that “Some senior players stopped playing and now work at rehabilitation centers due to lack of financial assistance given to them by the government. We are now giving them training in personality development and home science as well, so as to help them build a career outside of cricket”.
Most players affiliated with the cricketing body are facing difficult times and, in a country, where cricket is understood only in terms of IPL, it is astonishing and heart-breaking to know that there a large portion of blind cricketers who are daily wage workers. With stories like these, the dreams burst and the sad state of cricket apart from cash-rich leagues comes to people. However, it is commendable how the women in Kerala have not allowed lockdown to hamper the game.