IPL 2020 will be second time the tournament is going to be hosted away from India, and also the first to be hosted amidst an ongoing virus pandemic. From maintaining all necessary precautions to imposing medical protocols, the 13th edition of the cash rich cricket league is proving to be a challenging feat for both the franchises and its players. Meanwhile, veteran Indian cricketer and Chennai Super Kings icon Suresh Raina says physical and mental fitness are the keys to success in the tournament.
Due to the rapid spike of COVID-19 cases in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elected UAE to be the host for this year’s IPL, which is scheduled to take place from 19th September to 10th November. Alongside training, the players will also have to maintain all the necessary guidelines issued by the governing body, which includes frequent testing and other precautionary measure to prevent any risk of contamination.
The 13th IPL is the first tournament for many cricketers after months of suspension and indoor training. Additionally, as part of BCCI’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), all players must return five negative COVID-19 test results before they can resume training, and they will also undergo testing every five days during the tournament’s duration.
Physical and mental fitness: Suresh Raina’s keys to glory in IPL 2020
From being the first big competition in months, to playing in such critical circumstances when the world is fighting a pandemic, IPL 2020 is going to be a challenging experience for many cricketers. However, Suresh Raina reveals that both physical and mental fitness is what players need to do to cope up with the current circumstances, and achieve success in the tournament.
“This IPL, it would be very interesting to see how players are thinking,” Raina said in a recent web conference, “you are playing in different circumstances, you have a lot of protocols from ICC and at the same time, you are going through tests every two-three weeks.”
“So I would say coming out from all those tests, you need to be clear with your head on what you are going to do on the field because at the end of the day when you are playing a sport, you need to enjoy your game. Then you can come out of the ground as a happy soul,” the 33 year old added.
As the first big tournament after months of quarantine period, the CSK batsman is all excited to be a part of it, as he continued: “So I believe, all tests will be done before the IPL and we will be in a good frame of mind because we all are sitting at home from last five months and it will be interesting to see how we fare on the field. I’m looking forward to this.”
The IPL 2020 will be hosted across three cities in UAE- Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Speaking about the warm and humid weather of the middle eastern country, Raina stated that the short travel times between the venues will be a big plus point.
“Luckily, we are going early in the UAE, so I think, right now there is humidity in Dubai, the weather is 40 degrees Celsius, sandstorm is there, but the best thing in Dubai is that you don’t have logistical problems, it is 45 minutes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, you go from there to Sharjah, it’s 40 minutes,” Raina concluded.