Shardul Thakur became the first India cricketer to resume outdoor training as he began practicing bowling at his home ground in Palghar on Saturday after a pause of two months.
After the home ministry relaxed restrictions for the fourth phase of the lockdown till May 31, the Maharashtra government allowed opening of stadiums for individual training in green and orange zones without spectators. Accordingly, the Palghar Dahanu Taluka Sports Association (PDTSA) started nets on Saturday.
Thakur, who has featured in one Test, 11 ODIs, and 15 T20Is, hit a local ground at Boisar in Palghar district along with some domestic players, most notably, Mumbaiwicketkeeper-batsman Hardik Tamore.
“Yes, we practised today. It was good and definitely pleasing to practice after two months,” Thakur told PTI.
Palghar District Taluka Sports Association started nets on Saturday lockdown was relaxed in green zones.https://t.co/ppGzuP2v5D
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Strict safety protocols were followed, with each bowler getting his own set of disinfected balls.
“All the safety measures were followed. The bowlers got their own balls which were disinfected and temperatures of the players who came for practise were also checked,” a PDTSA official said.
“Once the guidelines from the Palghar District collector (state government) was issued concerning sports, it was always the aim to begin training process,” Mumbai Cricket Association, Council member Ajinkya Naik said.
“Due to our fantastic facility in Palghar district, we were able to facilitate much-needed training program to our esteemed players while adhering to social distancing norms and hygiene,” he added.
While BCCI is planning an isolation camp for cricketers so that they can resume training, players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are still waiting to resume individual training. On Thursday, England’s Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, and Chris Woakes became the first set of cricketers to return to individual training at their local county grounds.
(with PTI inputs)
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