Cheteshwar Pujara biding time and staying safe

Indian batsman set for county cricket stint

Cricket Fans India

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara isn't fazed by not being able to join Gloucestershire in English county cricket this month.

Pujara was scheduled to join Gloucestershire for at least six County Championship fixtures. His stint in the United Kingdom, however, has been delayed amid precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Something like this can't be controlled. It has happened for the first time in our lives and I hope it won't happen again. We can't think about the game right now. I am sure things will be under control in a few months' time,” Pujara told the Times of India.

“Then, we can think about county cricket and everything else. Every major sporting event has been affected. Even if the county season doesn't happen, one shouldn't worry much because human lives are more important than any sport.”

The right-handed Pujara played for Saurashtra against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy final last month. He struck a patient 66 during that match in Rajkot – and has not played professional cricket since.

“At times, you need to stay away from the game. Fortunately, this has come at the end of the season. Once the Ranji Trophy ended, I was supposed to take a break for a week or two. This has been longer than that. We don't know when the game will restart,” he added.

“So we are in a tough situation. But if we look at the problems other people are facing, then we can't really think about the game. The virus is so dangerous that we have to fight this together. It is like a war. We have to make sure everything becomes normal first. And then we can think about the game.”

Pujara and the IPL

The 32-year-old Pujara has previously represented the Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. He didn't gain a contract for the 2020 edition of the tournament, though.

The start of this year's IPL has also been delayed. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions, having beaten the Chennai Super Kings in last year's final. Mumbai's four IPL titles are the most. Chennai have three. Kolkata have two.

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