After the Pakistan Super League (PSL) knockout stage came to an abrupt halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, England pacer Chris Jordan, who was playing for the Karachi Kings, returned home.
He was supposed to join the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) training camp ahead of the 2020 Indian Premier League season, which could not begin as scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With sporting action around the world coming to a halt, most sports stars are under lockdown in their respective nations. Chris, like anyone else, is keeping himself occupied with several activities during the quarantine period.
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In a chat with Sportstar , he opened up on his friendship with KL Rahul, IPL experience, craze for Call of Duty (COD) and more.
Can you sum up your journey with Karachi?
Karachi Kings was a brilliant experience. The highlight was the chance to work with a legend like Wasim Akram, someone I had admired from far. I had conversations with him regarding reverse swing, seam presentation and grip. I was seeing what I can add to my game from his inputs. The team, on the whole, was bonding well. It felt so good and we made the semifinals.
Your thoughts on PSL semifinals being postponed?
Eventually, health is more important than a game of cricket. Initially, the tournament was supposed to finish on 22nd (of March). After things started to worsen, they stopped the tournament. The officials met us and gave assurances that they were monitoring the situation almost hourly. There was a sudden change in circumstances and they evacuated us immediately.
Is your Karachi and England teammate Alex Hales fine now?
He said he’s better. He had developed symptoms and was down for a few days. Thankfully, it looks like he’s going to be fine.
What’s your training routine during the Lockdown days?
During these days we mustn’t get lazy and complacent. I try to run every day. One day I might do running on the stairs.
Next, I might do longer tempo runs. After that, it might be sprints or shuttles. I just mix it up. I’ve also got some weights at home, so I do full-body circuits.
Your favourite training partner?
Pollie (Kieron Pollard) is wonderful to train with both from a bowling and batting point of view. He's also a good friend. You just get clean feedback from him, whether it’s about yorkers or slower balls.
Do you watch any web series?
I’m binge-watching 24 now. I also started seeing new seasons of Ozark and Homeland. I’m a proper series guy. The Wire, Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, Line of Duty and Entourage would be my favourites. Watching series is my way of relaxing after training.
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Do you play games on the phone?
Yes, I’ve been playing COD almost every day with Jofra Archer. He got me into it. It’s quite addictive and I enjoy it.
Has Archer recovered from the elbow injury?
He’s fine now. Missing so much cricket was new for him because he’s a fit guy. On a positive note, he got to let his body rest, refresh his mind and spend time with family. He’s itching to go again.
Who are your closest mates in the England set-up?
Some of my other best mates are Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid. We speak to each other regularly and share jokes. Moeen is one of the funniest people I know. Jos (Buttler) is a big prankster. He loves to have fun. Jason Roy, Buttler and I have good camaraderie.
Your T20 World Cup goals?
The ultimate goal is to lift the World Cup. I'm happy to compete for places. The more competition there is, the stronger our squad is. Everyone’s constantly pushing to make the starting XI. So you’re seeing the best coming out of people not just in games but also during training. We enjoy each other’s success and that makes us a better side.
Having played eight Tests, are you trying to make a comeback in the longer format?
I’ve always said that the longer format is something I enjoy a lot. I field at slip, bat at seven or eight and sometimes open the bowling for Sussex. So I’m constantly evaluating myself when it comes to Test cricket and we’ll see where I get to.
Do you like taking the new ball or bowling during the death overs?
I enjoy bowling during the death overs. It’s about the positive impact that can have on my confidence when I come out at the right end of it. Equally, it can go the other way because there are so many great hitters. Most people come to games to see big sixes and loads of runs. So when I do well at the death, it excites me.
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When were you supposed to join the KXIP camp?
Our first game was on the 30th (against Delhi Capitals). I would have reached there at least a week before. I was looking forward to joining the camp. We had a well-balanced squad and good management. Anil Kumble has lots of experience. He’s coached the Indian team. I wanted to work with him and others.
Thoughts on being part of RCB’s run to IPL 2016 final?
That experience was surreal. I enjoyed that dressing room. That was because of characters like AB (de Villiers), Virat (Kohli), (Chris) Gayle, (Shane) Watson and the list goes on. Bowling in India is not easy. Outfields are quick, pitches are flat and stadiums are relatively small. At Bangalore, you had to either execute everything perfectly or go out of the park and that changed my mentality. The constraint there taught me how to bowl as the margin for error was very less. As a bowler, you try to take control of your situation. Virat was very open to that. If things were to go wrong, he would come in and give his inputs. He, being one of the top batters in the world, knows how batsmen think. He and AB used to advise from that point of view. I was pretty relaxed.
Friends you’ve made while playing franchise cricket around the world?
When I was playing in New Zealand for Northern Districts, Kane Williamson invited me over to spend Christmas with his family. I also spent a lot of time with KL Rahul in RCB. We’re in constant touch and I was looking forward to playing with him in KXIP. Varun Aaron and Chris were close too. I've had lunch with Virat as well. At Sunrisers (Hyderabad), there was Kane again and Shikhar (Dhawan). Shikhy and I used to enjoy time together. He’s a free-spirit. He looks to relish each moment as much as possible and I can relate to that.
Can you recall your early cricketing days in Barbados?
When I was a kid, I used to watch every game at Kensington Oval, Barbados. I’ve seen Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Ian Bishop playing there. One evening, I stayed behind to give (Brian) Lara and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul throwdowns. That was a special moment. I moved to England when I was 16 (2004-05). Years later, I got to interact with Lara when I was playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL. He’s such a nice guy.
You were friends with pop-star Rihanna in school. Are you still in touch?
No, not really. However, her achievements are second to none. She was destined for it. She’s a real superstar and I’m very happy and proud of her.