Cricket's resumption will be a "huge positive" for the country - Shreyas Iyer 

Iyer is hoping for the restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic to be eased and cricket to resume.

Shreyas Iyer | GettyJust before COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, Shreyas Iyer looked like cementing his position at the infamous No.4 position for India with three fine knocks, including a ton, during the ODI series in New Zealand. However, Iyer understands there is still a long way to go and he can't really sit back on his laurels before the lockdown came in place. 

At the moment, as the country holds its breath in eagerness over government's plans for life from May 18, when the lockdown 3.0 ends, Iyer is hoping for the restrictions to be eased and on-field training to resume so that he can bring back the muscle memory. 

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"Yes, we will need a few net sessions for sure to get the timing back (as a batsman) and also to get the muscle memory working," IANS quoted the 25-year-old as saying. "Will be holding the bat after a while also to have players standing around as you face bowlers bowling at 140kph, it will not be easy to come back into that zone and it will need a few training sessions as also the mental memory to settle down completely."

"It is not going to be easy, but at the same time we are professionals and we have played for so many years to reach this stage, so it will not take us very long. It will be a good challenge for us to overcome and get started with cricket."

From the nation's point of view, cricket being such an immensely popular sport and a way of life, Iyer thinks its resumption will infuse the much-needed positive energy amid the citizens. 

"I would be very keen to go out and play because that is what I am waiting for," he said. "You do realise that cricket is a religion in this country and if we go out and play and it is there for people to view on television, it will be a huge positive as things will start moving towards normal and people will also be entertained."

As a young athlete, so used to a competitive sporting life, this phase must be really difficult for Shreyas, especially knowing there is no fixed date of when things will be back to normal. 

"It is tough being in such a situation (as an athlete) because we have never been in such a position," he said. "We have not been off cricket for this long ever, but then, if you keep a clear mindset and keep up with the routine, I don't think it is going to take that long to get back into the zone."

"Yes, it has been very difficult and at times it is very frustrating as you have to be indoors due to the lockdown. Just trying to do some drills and activities to get away from the frustration and stay active. The idea is to make the videos and keep the people happy and entertained as it is very important that everyone stays home."

Iyer also weighed in over talks around the potential ban on tradition practise of using saliva, sweat to maintain the shine of the ball, which is being seen as a potential source of further COVID-19 spread. 

"If we are starting, there shouldn't be any restrictions," he said. "As a batsman, I look for the ball to be new and as a bowler, you need the ball to swing so it is kind of equally important for both. And it will be the law-making body's decision and we will have to abide by that."

Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins has already played down the idea of imposing such a ban, something Iyer concurred with. 

"Definitely, he (Cummins) is talking as a bowler. From the bowler's perspective, it is really important to swing the ball as I said. It is important to maintain the ball and if that isn't there, then there would be no point of playing," concluded Iyer. 

(Inputs from IANS)


By Kashish Chadha - 15 May, 2020

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