The coronavirus outbreak has stalled every sporting event in the world. The pandemic that had originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has taken over 27,000 lives and infected more than 6,00,000 lives worldwide.
In the view of such an epidemic, John Gloster expressed his worry over the fitness of the Indian National Cricket Team’s players. He claims that the Indian players could be at a “physical disadvantage” due to lack of physical training space during the COVID-19 lockdown.
As athletes all over are self-isolating themselves, several cricketers, including England’s Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, have shared videos of their home workouts.
“The physical constraints that the Indian players are now having seems to be a lot greater than that of the guys in say, South Africa, Australia or the UK,” Gloster told the media.
“..because space is an incredible constraint here. I’ve seen some fantastic footage coming out of the players in the UK where they’re in their own gyms and they’ve got lots of space, and I think the Indian boys are going to be perhaps at a physical disadvantage there,” he added.
Gloster was the Indian team’s physiotherapist from the year 2005-08. He feels that after the lockdown, every player will begin to play at the same level playing field, without any match practice.
“Every single cricketer, probably for the first time since the second world war, will be starting from exactly the same place in terms of match fitness,” he said.
“This is really interesting, because normally when we enter an environment like the IPL, we have to manage guys who are overloaded, and factor that into their training, as well as guys who are under-loaded and need to match the necessary levels”
“Whereas on this occasion, everyone will be entering the tournament without any match fitness, which will bring with it a large injury risk because the expectation for all professional sportsmen is that you’ve always got to go at 100 per cent.”
After the announcement of a 21-day nation-wide lockdown announced by the Government of India, the chances of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) seems next to impossible. The tournament was originally scheduled to start from March 29 in Mumbai, was postponed till April 15. Gloster currently works with the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, and until the fate of the league is confirmed, he and his backroom staff are working and monitoring their player’s physical, mental and nutritional levels.
“For any athlete, the thing they hate most is the fear on the mental and psychological side of the game. It’s a similar situation here because we don’t yet know when they will be playing again, so there’s no definitive starting point to work back from,” he further added.