With the entire world has come into a standstill due to COVID-19, every sports event has either cancelled or postponed. This also included India’s upcoming mega event – World Cup Qualifiers, to take place in Sri Lanka from July 3-19. The outbreak of this COVID-19 has been affecting players also which included veterans Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami.
Both the veterans are out of the actions since long as they are no longer part of the T20 format. Moreover, BCCI has cancelled Senior Women’s One-Day knockout and Senior Women’s One-Day Challenger due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Both of them were looking forward to taking part in those tournaments as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup next year in New Zealand.
“For Jhulan and I, who have limited ourselves to just one format, it’s little difficult as we have been out of action for a while,” Mithali Raj told The Times of India.
Jhulan, on the other hand, refers to it as a setback because it will restrict their action before playing their next international match.
“The BCCI had scheduled the domestic T20 meets to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia. So a delayed start to the one-day meets was on cards, but unfortunately, the tournaments had to be cancelled. It was quite a setback as I was looking forward to playing some competitive cricket before our next international engagement,” Jhulan Goswami said.
However, ICC has already cancelled all of their major events till June end and they are keeping a close eye on the qualifiers as well. Mithali, who is the highest run-getter in ODI history with 6,888 runs, feels unless ICC gives equal points to the teams in case of qualifiers’ cancellation, rescheduling of the event will still affect their preparations. But the sharing points will make sure India’s qualification.
“In case that doesn’t happen we will have to play the qualifiers, which are likely to be rescheduled. The bilateral series against England too looks uncertain at this stage. Our preparations will take a hit,” Mithali said. “Things are so gloomy all over the world. I can only pray for all those who are engaged in fighting this deadly virus. Tournaments can be rescheduled but lives cannot be sacrificed.”
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Jhulan also echoed her teammate’s views, “The need of the hour is to keep ourselves safe. There will be many matches to play after we get past this phase.”
However, they also spoke about their routine during the lockdown. While it was initially frustrating for Mithali Raj, Jhulan is sharpening her cooking skill apart from the other things. “I have asked my cook to stay at home. So, I have to fix lunch and dinner for myself,” Jhulan said.
“It felt odd initially as I was not going to the ground at all. It took me some time to get used to this new way of life,” the ODI captain said.
“I wake up before dawn, go to the terrace and work out. It’s beautiful to watch the sunrise. Then I have breakfast with my dad, something I had not done for a long time. I also water the plants and relax by watching something interesting on Netflix. In the evening I spend some time on improving my batting skills in the car park area and take leisurely walk on the terrace while watching the sunset. These things keep me going,” concluded Mithali Raj.