By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national cricket team coach Lalchand Rajput has created a special training programme and workout schedules for players as he seeks to maintain their fitness despite their current inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rajput is locked up in his home country India during this period while players are scattered across the country as both Zimbabwean and Indian authorities have enforced a lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former India batsman and current Zimbabwe boss however revealed that he has come with ways to keep his players active after drawing up a special training module encompassing both the physical and mental aspects.
Rajput added that he has been monitoring his players’ progress through the use of modern technology.
“We have given a training programme for the players. The activities we have included are the ones which can be done at home like skipping, side to side running. We have also included stretching and yoga activities,” Rajput said.
Rajput also revealed that he has been in constant contact with the Zimbabwe Test captain Sean Williams as well as the other members of the technical team.
“Skipper Sean Williams messages me sometimes about what he does, also one-two others are also in touch with me. Not all players are from Harare,” he added.
Citing an example, he said he has asked the batsmen to follow a simple drill – put a ball inside a sock and hit it indoors.
“I have asked the trainer to follow up with the players on a day-to-day basis and he informs me on a weekly (basis) about the development,” he added.
Rajput, who has been a manager with the Indian cricket team, said he has asked the players to also follow the programme given by the psychologist to keep their mind free of any negativity.
Rajput has asked the Zimbabwe Cricket Board to give at least a month’s time for training when sporting activities resume.
“Once the action resumes, it won’t be feasible to immediately start the tours as they will need practice,” said Rajput, who also thanked Zimbabwe Cricket for providing their support.
Zimbabwe is expected to return to international action in June after Zimbabwe Cricket decided to keep alive the tour of Afghanistan scheduled for June despite the global paralysis in the sport caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chevrons are supposed to host the Afghans for five T20Is.
However, there is still uncertainty as the country is currently under lockdown to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
Zimbabwe, who rarely has a packed calendar as has been the case this year, as it was supposed to host Ireland this month in Bulawayo, Afghanistan and then tour Australia between June and July.
The Chevrons also still have unconfirmed schedules to host India in a three-match One Day International series in August and Netherlands the following month for three ODIs.
A tour to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and two T20Is follow in October.