Shikhar Dhawan. (TOI Photo)
NEW DELHI: Swashbuckling opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan on Saturday said that he kept on training during the coronavirus-induced lockdown and now he is waiting to play some cricket.
All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the 34-year-old Dhawan said that the break came at the right time for the Indian side as the team has been playing constantly.
“We have been playing constantly, so the break was a welcome one for me, I told myself that rather than a challenge, it is an opportunity to spend time with my family, I grabbed the opportunity, I take my child for cycling every evening, this has taught me the importance of spending time with family, I have also been training at my home, I have been doing gym and yoga, I have started batting now as well so I am totally fit and strong, I am in a good mindset as well,” Dhawan told ANI.
“The BCCI and government must be talking to each other, whatever BCCI decides, we will follow that, the safety of every player is of the utmost importance. It has been three-four months that we have not played, all players would be happy whenever we get to play some cricket. When things get normal, it is just not good for cricket, but it is good for the entire world,” he added.
On Saturday, Dhawan visited a Pakistani Hindu refugee camp in Delhi and gifted the children some cricket kits. The refugee camp is located near the Majlis Metro Station, and after his visit, Dhawan said that it is always great to help people and see them sporting a smile on their faces.
“My friend has been working with the refugee camp, he has put trees and toilets there, they have distributed a lot of food there during the lockdown. So I was also thinking as to how I can contribute to the community, we have delivered cricket kits there, I am grateful to god that I am in such a place where I can help the community, now those guys can play, I asked my sponsors Kookaboora to deliver some quality stuff there and I am grateful to them that they did the needful,” Dhawan said.
“It was a surprise visit and it made me happy to see people there with a smile on their face. It’s our job to provide support to everyone. I want to tell the people to not ease up, please keep wearing masks, elderly people are more susceptible to this coronavirus, everyone should follow social distancing, everyone is following the guidelines and one should not ease up,” he added.
Dhawan would have been in action for the Delhi Capitals if the Indian Premier League (IPL) had commenced from March 29. However, the tournament has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He played 16 matches for the Delhi Capitals in the 2019 edition of the IPL and he went on to score 521 runs at an average of 33.42.
The left-handed batsman last played a match for India in January this year. After that, he picked up an injury which resulted in him being ruled out of the series against New Zealand.
The 34-year-old Dhawan has so far played 34 Tests, 136 ODIs, and 61 T20Is for India. Dhawan has managed to score 9,591 runs across all formats of the game.