NEW DELHI: With the World Cup less than a fortnight away, the Indian team has found a unique way of preparing for the tournament. The cricketers have been asked to take a break from cricket and relax before leaving for the high-octane tournament.
TOI has learnt that the selected players have been asked to have a good time before they assemble on May 21 in Mumbai before taking the flight to London on May 22. “The players have been told that they can take a break from training after the IPL. They can rest, have fun with their close ones and come back in a good frame of mind,” a source close to the team management told TOI.
While Rohit Sharma has made his family vacation in Maldives public on social media, it has been learnt that Yuzvendra Chahal is relaxing in Goa. Most players will be back at their homes by May 19.
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“The support staff of the Indian team initiated this move. There were talks of having a short camp before the team leaves. But it will be very unfair on the players to get into the grind immediately after a gruelling tournament like the IPL. So, it was decided that the players rather go on a break, ideally a short vacation, so that they feel good about themselves. We can’t risk any burnout,” the source said.
TOI understands that there was some concern about the preparation for the World Cup with most teams playing international matches or holding camps.
England and Pakistan are currently playing a bilateral ODI series, while Bangladesh and West Indies played an ODI tri-series with Ireland in Ireland to get accustomed to the conditions in UK. Even Australia and New Zealand played a few friendly matches earlier this month to get their teams together and get used to the 50-over format. South Africa’s camp at home began in early May while Afghanistan are holding a camp in South Africa.
All of India’s options became tough to implement with the IPL being held so close to the World Cup. Even the much talked-about fitness test (yo-yo) will not be conducted.
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“Holding a fitness test after 10 days of IPL doesn’t make sense. It is basically an endurance test. You have to be fresh to take the test. That’s why it generally happens at the start of a season or a long break. IPL takes a lot out of your body with the frequent travel and games in such hot conditions,” the source said.
The centrally-contracted players have been provided with GPS-wearable devices. Connected with the Athlete Monitoring System (AMS), every player can be monitored.
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