Mohammed Shami has shared that the four months at home were easier than six days quarantine in UAE for IPL 2020 and he feels relieved to be on the field. The pacer admitted that he sometimes forgets about the saliva ban and his hand involuntarily reaches his mouth when he has the ball.
After some stellar performances in Indian colours, Mohammed Shami was picked by KXIP for a sum of INR 4.8 crores before the beginning of 2019 edition of IPL. He didn’t let down his new franchise and picked up his below-par IPL career by picking up 19 wickets in 14 matches. He has transformed himself into a key member of the KXIP squad and will be leading the charge for them in IPL 2020, slated to start from September 19.
Shami, who has cricket facilities built at his home, revealed that he was thankful to have his own facilities during the lockdown. However, he claimed that a few months in lockdown were easier than the six-day mandatory quarantine in UAE and was relieved to be back on the field. He further explained that the players who were part of CPL are looking fitter compared to the players who haven’t had any cricket due to the lockdown.
"Four months have been difficult for everyone, be it sportsman or a normal person. Thank god I had the facilities to do my own training. When we came here (UAE) and got quarantined, these six days felt more difficult than those four months because in those months I was training myself, helped the needy and was busy in activities. But in these six days, I have felt how difficult those four months must have been for people. Now it feels comfortable on the field.
"The training I have done (during lockdown) has helped now. The stiffness isn't there and it has felt more like I took a break for recovery. The body feels good and in rhythm. The normal flow is missing in some. Those who played in the Caribbean Premier League are looking in flow, but those who have been stuck indoors are looking a little stiff. Important to use the 25 to 30 days going into the tournament," KXIP pacer said as quoted by TOI.
In order to contain the spread of COVID-19, ICC had banned the use of saliva on the ball, which has become almost second nature to players for shining the ball. Shami admitted that he sometimes forgets about it and the hand automatically reaches the mouth when the ball is in hand.
"What also happens is that sometimes we remember things a tad bit late, like the ban on saliva. So the hand automatically goes to the mouth. But once the hand goes to the mouth, then one remembers that you cannot put saliva on the ball. You do struggle in between, but it isn't impossible. You must enjoy yourself, but within the rules," he admitted.