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Most of my Time Now is Spent in Tracking Updates on COVID-19, says Harbhajan

Home News Like all others, the veteran spinner is with his family (wife Geeta and daughter Hinaya) in Mumbai, hoping that scientists and doctors would make a breakthrough to tackle pandemic that has claimed more than 20,000 lives. PTI |March 25, 2020, 8:25 PM IST Sport is now the last thing on Harbhajan Singh’s mind…

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Like all others, the veteran spinner is with his family (wife Geeta and daughter Hinaya) in Mumbai, hoping that scientists and doctors would make a breakthrough to tackle pandemic that has claimed more than 20,000 lives.

PTI |March 25, 2020, 8:25 PM IST

Most of my Time Now is Spent in Tracking Updates on COVID-19, says Harbhajan

Sport is now the last thing on Harbhajan Singh’s mind and as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the cricketer is spending time tracking updates on the unprecedented crisis and hoping that this too shall pass.

Like all others, the veteran spinner is with his family (wife Geeta and daughter Hinaya) in Mumbai, hoping that scientists and doctors would make a breakthrough to tackle pandemic that has claimed more than 20,000 lives.

“You see life from a completely different perspective in these times of crisis. Sport is farthest from your mind at this point in time. Now that I am home, I am spending most of my time reading anything and everything about COVID-19,” Harbhajan told PTI on Wednesday.

So what exactly does he read? “I try to read every authentic piece of information available. All updates provided by the government about the current situation. And yes, most importantly, I try to read and find out what kind of breakthrough scientists, biologists and doctors are making.

“You need to keep your spirits up and be self motivated in these trying times. Any positive information lifts your spirits,” the 39-year-old said.

Harbhajan was in Chennai at the CSK pre-season camp when the IPL got postponed. While this is a forced break from his busy schedule, which also includes commentary, he is getting to spend some precious time with his wife and daughter.

“Me and my wife do yoga together in the morning. We are now taking time out to play scrabble and darts in the evening. At times, we watch a movie together,” he said.

The best part is spending time with his three-year-old daughter, playing with her.

“The break has given me an opportunity to spend quality time with Hinaya. It’s really joyful when I get to play with her. It lifts my spirit. Right now all I want is everybody to be safe,” he added.

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PCB to Conduct Virtual Fitness Tests Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Home News Pakistan will conduct fitness tests on players virtually amid the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic IANS |April 9, 2020, 10:46 AM IST Pakistan will conduct fitness tests on players virtually amid the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to…

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Pakistan will conduct fitness tests on players virtually amid the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic

IANS |April 9, 2020, 10:46 AM IST

PCB to Conduct Virtual Fitness Tests Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Pakistan will conduct fitness tests on players virtually amid the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to conduct tests for its contracted domestic and international players on April 20 and 21, according to ESPNCricinfo.

The contracted players were due to undergo tests on March 23 and 24 but that was called off due to the pandemic. The new tests will be designed so as to monitor how players have been spending their time at home.

ESPNCricinfo reports that Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and trainer Yasir Malik sent out a message earlier this week to the players reminding them of their obligations to remain fit.

The new fitness test requires players to do 60 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and 30 burpees, taking a minute to complete each. It will also need players to do 10 complete chin-ups in one attempt, 25 Bulgarian split squats, 2.5metre standing broad jump, reverse plank for two minutes and pass a level 18 yo-yo test.

“With all the limitations and lack of resources at the moment, we have chalked out this new fitness battery with everyone given an equal opportunity,” the message from Misbah and Malik read.

“We have to make sure that we are giving our hundred percent. You have been informed well before time to make sure you are mentally and physically ready for it. All the tests will be carried out on video link by your team’s trainers.”

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Shoaib Akhtar Proposes India-Pakistan Series to Raise Funds for COVID-19 Fight

PTI |April 9, 2020, 10:44 AM IST Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday proposed a three-match ODI series against arch-rivals India to raise funds for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in both the countries.The two nations have not played a full-series since 2007 due to the terrorist attacks on India by Pakistan-based outfits…

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PTI |April 9, 2020, 10:44 AM IST

Shoaib Akhtar Proposes India-Pakistan Series to Raise Funds for COVID-19 Fight

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday proposed a three-match ODI series against arch-rivals India to raise funds for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in both the countries.

The two nations have not played a full-series since 2007 due to the terrorist attacks on India by Pakistan-based outfits and the resultant diplomatic tension. They only play each other in ICC events and Asia Cup.

“In this time of crisis, I want to propose a three-match series in which for the first time, the people of neither country would be upset at the outcome of the games,” Akhtar told PTI from Islamabad.

“If Virat (Kohli) scores a hundred, we will be happy, if Babar Azam scores a hundred, you will be happy. Both teams will be winners irrespective of whatever happens on the field,” he said.

“You are bound to get massive viewership for the games. For the first time, both countries will play for each other. And whatever funds are generated through this can be donated equally to the government of India and Pakistan to fight this pandemic,” added the 44-year-old.

With both countries in a lockdown amid the fast-spreading pandemic, the games can only be organised when things improve. However, Akhtar feels the sooner they are held, the better it would be but could not tell how the logistics of such an initiative would be worked out.

“Everyone is sitting at home at the moment, so there will be a massive following for the games. May be not now, when things start improving, the games could be organised at a neutral location like Dubai. Chartered flights could be arranged and the matches could be held.

“It could even lead to resumption of bilateral cricketing ties and relations of both countries improve diplomatically. You never know,” said the ‘Rawalpindi Express’.

“The whole world will tune into it, so much money can be raised to deal with this crisis. In difficult times, the character of the nation comes forward.”

In these extraordinary times, Akhtar feels both countries should help each other.

“If India can make 10,000 ventilators for us, Pakistan will remember this gesture forever. But we can only propose the matches. The rest is up to the authorities (to decide).”

India cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were recently trolled for asking their social media followers to donate to Shahid Afridi’s charity foundation which is doing its bit in Pakistan’s fight against the deadly virus.

“It was inhuman to criticise them. It is not about countries or religion at the moment, it is about humanity,” he opined.

Akhtar has spent a lot of time in India as a commentator. He fondly recalled his days in Mumbai during the World T20 in 2016, the last time he came to India for work.

“I am forever grateful about the love I have received from the people of India. For the first time I am revealing this, whatever I used to earn from India, I made a significant amount there, thirty percent of it, I used to distribute among the low income staff who used to work with me in the TV,” he remembered.

Akhtar used to visit the city’s slum areas with his face covered to hand out financial help to elder women there.

“From drivers, runners to my security guys. I took care of a lot of people. I was like if am earning from this country, I have to help my colleagues also.

“I also remember visiting slums of Dharavi and Sion in the wee hours to meet people I worked with,” added Akhtar.

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New Zealand Tour Helped Me Grow in Confidence: Sanju Samson

Home News Samson, 25, played two T20Is in New Zealand in the five-match series which India won 5-0, but failed to make an impact with scores of 2 and 8. Cricketnext Staff |April 8, 2020, 4:24 PM IST India wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has not had a lot of chances to stake a claim but he…

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Samson, 25, played two T20Is in New Zealand in the five-match series which India won 5-0, but failed to make an impact with scores of 2 and 8.

Cricketnext Staff |April 8, 2020, 4:24 PM IST

New Zealand Tour Helped Me Grow in Confidence: Sanju Samson

India wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has not had a lot of chances to stake a claim but he is happy with sharing the dressing room with the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma while learning from them.

Samson, 25, played two T20Is in New Zealand in the five-match series which India won 5-0, but failed to make an impact with scores of 2 and 8. He was given a chance against Sri Lanka also in Pune earlier this year but there also he managed just six.

“I looked at the brighter side of things. I got to share the dressing room with legends like Virat bhai and Rohit bhai and there is a lot to learn from them even if we just observe the way they handle themselves on and off the ground. And then to be a part of the world’s best cricket team is not a small thing,” he told The Times of India on his time on the bench.

“The New Zealand tour was one of the best times of my life. Yes, it is true that I could not perform with the bat the way I would have loved to. But I believe the change of style that I have adopted in my batting recently will sometimes lead to failures. I have started to accept that fact and I wait and prepare for my next big successful innings,” he added.

Samson recalled when he was sent to bat in the Super Over alongside skipper Virat Kohli in the 4th T20I, it helped boost his confidence. “In fact, I was sent in to bat in the Super Over again in a tight match (fourth T20I in Wellington), that too with Virat Kohli. So you can make out the trust the Indian team had on me. That moment was a huge achievement in my career,” he said.

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