The global economy is in a lockdown, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the businesses are cut off from their usual functioning especially sports associations and federations. During these uncertain times, it becomes difficult for even the players and the management to maintain their physical and mental wellness. BCCI, (the governing body for cricket in India) however, has chalked out a four-stage plan focusing on the physical and mental fitness of players.
The BCCI has made sure the program has reached out to all players and coaches governed by the central contract. On any other given day, a cricketer under contract with the central body would have the privileges of top-notch wellness facilities. But with the ongoing crisis, most of them are limited to the confines of their houses, in-house gym, or maybe a makeshift workout place. So what exactly has BCCI had in mind for the players?
BCCI’s 3-Stage Programme For Team India Players
Before putting forth the planner, BCCI reached out to the players through a digital application that helped them learn of the facilities that a player currently has at his disposal. (Stage 1) Players, coaches, and other associated staff got onto the app and engaged themselves with the number of activities and sessions that are part of the planner, with the progress of every player being monitored on a daily basis. Sessions relating to the fitness routines are coordinated by team’ physiotherapist Nitin Patel and trainer Nick Webb. While the batting, bowling and fielding sessions are supervised separately.
A relaxation, if any in the lockdown rules could see (Stage 2) of the planner move players beyond their current confines. Training sessions and ‘skills-wise programs’ will move out to local stadiums. And if we still get better over with the current situation, Stage 3 will further enhance the player movements to facilities across different states. With the hope of things getting completely better in the near future and things returning back to normalcy, the Board will channel players to specific centers that will look into skill-based training sessions.
Stage 4 is the resumption of cricket. When that happens, the Board is clear that players need to be in the right frame of mind and fitness to hit the field.
Team India coach Ravi Shastri was all praised for BCCI’s initiative. “It was extremely important to get going with this and the BCCI has done an excellent job in putting all of this together. The lockdown has not been easy on anyone, and the same goes for the cricketers. But the thing is, when cricket resumes, these boys will have to be at their best right from the word go. So, a lot of effort has to go into this, in whatever way possible. Secondly, it’s rare for anybody associated with the Indian team to get this kind of time to self-introspect, think about your own game and body, identify elements that have worked and that haven’t and go about accordingly”, said Shastri.