Ankit Bawne (TOI Photo)
PUNE: Maharashtra cricket captain Ankit Bawne has taken a disciplined approach to beat the lockdown blues, and help is coming from his professional club Jolly Rovers.
“I keep getting calls almost everyday from our team. We have interactive sessions via Zoom video calls for an hour or so,” Bawne said of the Chennai team, a 17-time winners of the TNCA First Division league championship.
“One day it would be our fitness trainer Dhanasekar, next day would be a yoga session with Bala.
“There are group discussions on batting and bowling, you can talk everything about your batting, how you feel about your game and so on,” said Bawne, who has been employed with Jolly Rovers as an assistant manager.
Needless to say, the India ‘A’ batsman has the security of receiving his monthly pay-cheque even during these difficult times.
“They are far better than a lot of Ranji Trophy teams. It’s a very professional setup,” Bawne said of the outfit which has former India wicketkeeper Bharat Reddy managing its affairs.
“There are six practice pitches and 10-12 match wickets. We have all types of pitches — red soil, white soil, you can have green track, turning track.
“In Chennai, they do a lot of things for cricket. It is a very good league, which is why every cricketer in the country wants to play there.”
Back home, Bawne and a group of players from the Maharashtra team have taken their own initiative to motivate each other.
“We are eight of us, a few Ranji players and a couple of local players. We wake up at 5.30 am and connect on zoom. We do yoga and meditation for about half an hour,” he said.
The bunch, which has the International Yoga Day on June 21 in mind, includes Ruturaj Gaikwad, Murtuza Trunkwala, Satyajeet Bachhav and Swapnil Gugale among others.
“A lot of people have fitness goals, but for me it’s a lifestyle goal,” he said.
“This has been the way for me for the last eight-nine years since I started playing first-class cricket. The lockdown is a good reason to go back to the basics.”
Bawne said there were so many questions as to how the game would be when it resumes, particularly on the domestic front.
“We have to live with the virus. Playing sport, I don’t know how safe it is going to be,” he said.
“Whatever rules the ICC comes up with, we have to go with that. One ball, 11 players, I just don’t know how (safe) it is going to be.
“It shouldn’t affect the number of (first-class) games. If there is going to be just four-five games, then it is less opportunity.”