Cricketers, often, take to football in their warm-up sessions. Royal Challegers Bangalore (RCB) unit is no exception to it as Virat Kohli’s men played an intra-squad football match when the members met for a training session involving the entire squad in Dubai in the lead up Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
Under the watchful eyes of former India strength and conditioning coach, Shanker Basu, the RCB players enjoyed a session of football. Despite seeing injury-risks involved in a football session, Basu allowed the RCB players to enjoy the sport.
Notably, the names of the two teams in the intra-squad match were also coined by Basu. ‘Hot Dogs’ and ‘Cool Cats’. Virat Kohli was captaining the Hot Dogs side while former South Africa captain AB de Villiers was in-charge of ‘Cool Cats’.
Physio Evan Speechly took over the job of the referee as RCB stars were spotted playing the match with a lot of intensity. Speechly even said Dale Steyn got a red card for a rough tackle while India pacer Mohammad Siraj walked away with a yellow card.
‘Hate football for cricketers’
“I hate football for cricketers. It’s highly injurious. I can only see risk, no reward. But even in the Indian team, we cut football totally but once in a while, I allowed the children to play. Every year, when they play this game, my heart is in my mouth,” Basu said in the latest episode of RCB’s Bold Diaries.
RCB have been training in Dubai after completing their mandatory quarantine period. Virat Kohli’s men will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening game on September 21. IPL 2020 begins with a marquee clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on September 19.
RCB are looking to end their winless run in IPL 2020 after having assembled a ‘well-balanced’ squad with a good mix of experience and youth.
Captain Virat Kohli recently said RCB’s current squad is the ‘most balanced’ one since their run to the final in 2016. Speaking to sports presenter Danish Sait for RCB, Kohli said he is hopeful of a ‘miracle’ in IPL 2020.
“It’s all about disconnecting with things that have happened in the past and not taking that baggage. We have done that too many times. Just because we have a bunch of players that are so skilled, people like seeing them play is the reason why people have had so much expectation as well.
“We are not going to think of what-ifs, we know what we can do as a team. And we’re just very, very keen and hungry to go out there and do it.
“To be honest, that 2016 season which we all loved to be a part of, since then this is the most balanced I have felt about the squad, as a system as to where we are heading. It’s been very well taken care of now. It’s up to us to execute on the field,” Kohli said.