Lockdown diaries: S.V. Sunil close yet far from family in Bengaluru

India hockey team forward S.V. Sunil's family is 20 km away from the SAI centre but he has decided not to meet them due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

S.V. Sunil during a training session at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bengaluru.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

India hockey team forward S.V. Sunil believes the extension of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic will help his side improve as a collective unit.

“We were all expecting the lockdown period to be extended, and it is justified given the extent of the damage that the pandemic has been causing not just in India, but around the world,” said Sunil.

“We have been staying here at the SAI Centre Bengaluru for the past month-and-a-half and I think spending more time with our teammates and coaching Staff has really brought the group together. We have also been working on analysing our performances from the past couple of seasons, and we have been doing a lot of self-analysis as well, which I'm sure will help us in improving a lot before we set foot on the pitch again," he added.

Sunil’s family lives 20 km away from the SAI centre but he has not been able to meet them. “Most of the players here in camp would have loved to be with their families, and even though my family doesn't stay very far from here, my wife and I decided that it was in the best interest of our family that we stay put where we are, and follow the guidelines strictly. I do miss my wife and daughter, but these are trying circumstances and we just have to take the positives out of it, and continue adjusting to it,” he said.

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“I remember when I've had the two injuries before, once in 2010 and in 2018, it was always really tough for me because I had missed the World Cups on both the occasions and that long journey back from injury was really depressing at times. But when you compare that to the circumstances that so many people around the world are facing now, you realize how lucky you are to only have injured your left fibula or had a LCL Grade 3 tear, and not had a life-threatening experience,” he added.

On the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Sunil said, “We have spent these four years building up to the Olympics, and working hard to peak at that time, but obviously now we all have to make adjustments, for which we are ready. It has been a few days since I've made that run on the flanks and put a ball into the striking circle, so I really hope that things can go back to normal very quickly for everyone to do what they love doing, which includes me stepping foot on the pitch again soon.”

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