Vidarbha Cricket Association uses technology to start off-season preparations

NAGPUR: The current coronavirus pandemic has halted almost all sports activities worldwide. Cricket is no different. While most international players are working on their fitness from home on an individual level, the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) has started off-season preparations for its teams through an online application.

Encouraged by its recent success, VCA has started with the fitness of players under the age of 16 up to Ranji Trophy level “We received a message from our coach a couple of days ago about the training program. They advised us to download an app, which support staff can monitor online, a Vidarbha player, who does not wish to be named, told TOI.

The idea is to keep each player involved in some activity or other. The players have rested enough after a grueling past season. Now, the time has come to begin preparations for the upcoming season. Yes, the situation is not ideal around the world and everyone has been affected in one way or another, but we need to find a solution to continue, said a VCA source.

VCA support staff comprised of Coach Amiya Mohanty, Mohd Hashim and Yuvraj Singh Dasondi have provided individual program to each player. The players have been divided into two groups. The first groups has around 55-60 players of Under-23 and Ranji Trophy squads. The second group has Under-16 and Under-19 boys. The Under-14 emerging group is not part of this online training. Since their seasons start in December, we still have lot of time for them, he said.

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Support staff is watching each and every player through the app. Our trainers Usman Ghani & Trevor Gonsalves They are also watching the players go through the rigors. Today, every player is tech savvy, so it wasn't a difficult exercise. In fact, the players were excited to get things moving. Most of them have been inactive due to this blockage. Sometimes it affects you mentally too. So this exercise will keep everyone in a good spirit, ”added the source.

Vidarbha Under-23 & Under-19 teams have done well last season. While Under-23 team — under the guidance of Gonsalves — won the Col Nayudu Trophy last month in Indore, Ghani’s wards reached the Under-19 Cooch Behar final for the third consecutive year.

The preparation for the new season though started on a lighter note on Wednesday. “It was a light session today. It was great to see everyone. It will also help in building camaraderie & bonding among us. We need to find ways to keep ourselves fit by the time this problem gets over,” another player said.

Meanwhile, VCA has yet to decide on the candidate to replace Chandrakant Pandit as Ranji Trophy coach. While the talks are going on, nothing has been finalized yet. “Nothing is going on due to this lock-down. Once it’s over, the senior officials will meet & decide,” the source said.