Mumbai Indians bowling coach Zaheer Khan is not too concerned about the “new routines” that cricketers will have to adapt to in a world scarred by COVID-19 as he believes it is just a matter of getting used to the latest system.
The new routines include quarantines, bio-secure training camps, aggressive hand hygiene, regular temperature checks and a complete bar on use of saliva to shine the ball. Zaheer acknowledged that the last part is the only difficult bit about the revamped protocol.
“I wouldn’t say it will be difficult as such, just a matter of getting used to a new routine. Preparation routines are going to change and you have to keep up with that. Feels good to be back and out on the field again,” the former India pacer said, referring to the IPL, which starts September 19.
“We have to be careful of getting used to not using saliva but old habits just creeps in as bowlers. We have to be mindful of that,” he added.
Mumbai Indians has provided each player with a zip bag in which he is required to keep his training balls to ensure that health safety protocol is adhered to.
The former India pace spearhead said professional athletes should be able to create the kind of mental space they want to be in and the lockdowns they have endured in the past few months, is an important lesson in achieving that control on the mind.
“When you are a professional athlete you have to find a way of keeping that mental space which you would like to be in. It varies individually and one has to own that individual space,” Zaheer said on a twitter video message posted by the Mumbai Indians.
MI are based in Abu Dhabi where they will be playing all their IPL home games after the tournament was shifted out of India due to rising cases of COVID-19.