The postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to the COVID-19 pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for India medium pacer Deepak Chahar. The delay gives him more time to recover fully from his lower-back injury.

Chahar, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, is now eagerly waiting to make his return to competitive cricket once the situation normalises. “I am looking forward to bowling again. For now, the idea is to stay fit,” the 27-year-old said.

Chahar sustained a stress fracture on his lower back midway through the ODI series against the West Indies in December last year, which ruled him out of action until the end of March. “When things are not in your control, there is little you can do. So, I focus on what I can do during that time. I am trying to learn new things, focus on my fitness - as you know I was injured and getting back. This gives me more time to recover,” he was quoted as saying on Super Kings’ official website.

“Had the IPL season started on time, I would have missed the first few matches,” said Chahar.

Difficult time

The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to begin on March 29, has been suspended until April 15 with no clarity yet on whether it would go ahead at all. Chahar said the pandemic posed difficulties for all but the need of the hour was to stay safe and positive as India battled the novel coronavirus. “It is obviously a difficult time for all of us, everything coming to a standstill. Loss of business and jobs, especially for daily-wage workers,” he said.

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“Be safe, learn something new now that you have time. Stay positive, stay in the time,” added Chahar, who played three ODIs and 10 T20 Internationals for India.