Riyan Parag and Manan Vohra are staying on the same floor in a plush Dubai hotel. But ever since their arrival a couple of days ago, they haven’t had a chance to catch up or go for a meal together. Instead, they are confined to their rooms in a mandatory six-day quarantine.
Every morning, the two Rajasthan Royals cricketers exchange pleasantries from their balconies. They chat about everything under the sun; plans for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to how things are at home.
As per the protocol, all players and the support staff need to undergo the mandatory quarantine period and maintain social distancing.It’s a new experience but the players are adapting to it. “You can say it’s a new challenge, unlike any we’ve seen before – in terms of conversations and bonding within the team,” Riyan says.
“So far, we are checking up on each other through our balconies. It is obviously imperative that we follow these norms for our own betterment,” the youngster from Assam says.
While the players are training in their respective rooms, Riyan is getting used to the new normal. “Even in quarantine, there are plenty of options to talk and chat with others. So, all really good in that regard and we are still in constant contact with the team and the management, albeit from our own rooms.”
Vohra, one of the seasoned campaigners of the domestic circuit, is looking forward to hitting the training ground soon. But so far, he has enjoyed the new experience.
“It has been different, a big change from the usual. We are isolating and need to follow the protocols for everyone’s safety. So far, all the conversations have been through our balconies,” he says.
“All the team conversations so far have been restricted to the online calls, so we are getting used to these new measures and looking to get back on the field post quarantine,” the batsman from Punjab says.
It’s a similar story for all the six teams, which have reached the Emirates so far – Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are set to reach the UAE on Sunday.
The franchises have earmarked the outdoor area , adjacent to the rooms, where players are allowed to train only alternately.