Former India wicket-keeper and batsman Parthiv Patel, 35, recently announced his retirement from international cricket, taking on the role of a talent scout for IPL champions Mumbai Indians. In his 18-year career, Patel has played 25 Tests, 38 ODIs, and was part of the IPL in UAE, where he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore
What precautions are you taking?
I always wear a mask, and sanitise my hands frequently. Unless there is an emergency, I don’t step out of my house.
Have you got yourself tested for Covid-19?
Yes, I have got tested 29 times in the last four months. As I was playing in the Indian Premier League (for Royal Challengers Bangalore), I got tested regularly. Fortunately, it was negative every time. Since the IPL took place in the UAE this year, the players had to get themselves tested thrice in India and then three more times after reaching Dubai. Once we entered the bio-secure bubble, we underwent a Covid-19 test every five days.
Have you gone into self-isolation in the past months?
I have not because I didn’t come in contact with anyone who was infected. However, I had to quarantine myself for seven days in a Bangalore hotel before leaving for the IPL. There was another seven-day quarantine period after reaching Dubai.
What kind of gloves and mask do you use?
I use disposable gloves and a three-layered cotton mask. I wash it every day before using it again.
While interacting with people, how do you ensure your safety?
I follow social distancing. One habit which I have given up is shaking hands. Instead, I go for the traditional namaste.
How long have you gone without seeing your family?
I did not see them for three months when I was in Dubai playing in the IPL.
How often do you step out?
During lockdown, I went out only once to donate masks and sanitisers to the police. Now, I only step out if I have commitments.
How much time do you spend in front of a screen?
A lot, actually. During the lockdown, the television and my tablet were the only source of entertainment. I saw many web series and movies on OTT platforms… At one point I did feel that it’s not good for health. But I did not have much else to do.
How do you keep your mind off the pandemic?
I did a lot of yoga and continued my training to keep busy. I did my workouts at home and went on a lot of walks. My daughter’s online classes have started, but I have ensured she also works out with me.
What is the first thing you want to do in a Covid-free world?
I want to see people happy, without masks, be fearless again.
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