Even as the Novel Coronavirus continues to cripple major sporting events across the world, with the global number of confirmed cases passing the half a million mark, India no. 3 Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has called on fans to rally round each other.
"These are tough times not just for our nation but the entire world. The only way we can fight this pandemic is by staying indoors," Pujara told Sportstar .
"It can be frustrating at times. There will be days when you'll have to resist the urge to go out for a casual stroll, but we have a responsibility to look after our country and family and the best way to do it is by remaining in self-isolation at home," he added.
Pujara, part of the Saurashtra side that beat Bengal in the Ranji Trophy final, is using the downtime to enjoy a relaxed routine at home with his young daughter. "It's a welcome change for me," he said. "I like spending time with myself, reading a book or watching TV is something I would do when I'm alone. That said, I've a young daughter who is so energetic and wants to play all the time, so half my day goes into taking care of her. I'm also helping my wife Puja with the daily chores."
The 31-year-old, who suffered from back spasms during the Ranji final, has recovered and started training again. "I've a gym at home where I do all my workouts, so haven't had to venture out to train either," he said.
The anticipation of periods of home confinement has led to panicked shoppers stripping many grocery stores of staples ranging from bread and milk to meat and sanitisers. Pujara, however, cautioned against hoarding.
"We don't believe in stocking up because then you are causing unnecessary trouble to those who desperately require those items," he said. "Only buy what you need. The government will ensure that production of essentials is not impacted in the wake of the pandemic. I've heard that in some places they've even started home delivery of day-to-day necessities like packets of rice, vegetables, fruits and grains. So there is no need to panic; it's time for the selfishness to end. We need to look after each other."
Although sport itself has become a casualty in times of distress, Pujara reminded why a discipline, which often offers escapism in the face of adversity, needs to take a backseat for now. "I feel sport really has the power to bring people together but now is not the time for fans to throng stadiums in support of their teams and players," he said. "Yes, you still need to stick together but with your family in your own homes. In the aftermath of a crisis such as this, I feel the biggest fight is going to be the fight to be indoors. For a sportsman, the fight is out on the field, for a soldier, it's the warfront but this particular battle can only be won by staying indoors."
- WPL 2024: All-round show helps Delhi Capitals thrash UP Warriorz by nine wickets for season’s first win
- Hard work, determination and a bit of kismet: For RCB’s Asha Sobhana, WPL is just the start
- Indian sports wrap, February 26
- NBA: Clippers unveil new uniforms, logo for next season
- Bayern Munich signs Max Eberl as sporting director