Chirag Suri
Chirag Suri Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Chirag Suri, the UAE opening batsman who carries the tag of the only UAE national player to be picked for the Indian Premier League (IPL) — and is now regularly chosen to play in Twenty20 Leagues around the world, is working hard at home inspired by the legendary Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh.

Having played under Yuvraj’s captaincy in the 2019 Global T20 tournament in Canada, and closely interacting with him during the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 tournament, Suri is following Yuvraj’s ways. Speaking to Gulf News, Suri said: “Yuvi told me that he has been working out in his gym at home. So it was nice to hear that he is working hard and at the same time spending time with his family. So I am also trying ways to keep fit rather than look for excuses to avoid working hard.”

Suri is also in touch with Nepal’s most feared spinner Sandeep Lamichhane with whom he has played in a few T20 events and in international matches. “Lamichhane is also locked down in Nepal, and he too is working out hard. At the same time, he is making music! He likes to play the guitar, so he is using this time to enjoy his music as well.”

While Lamichhane makes music, Suri trains with music in the background. His father Bobby Suri throws the balls at him to help sharpen his pull shots and drives. Bobby is a regular player in the veterans tournaments organised by Dubai Cricket Council, and he is using this period not only to help his son train but also keep himself fit in the process.

“I do skipping at home, some catching practice, and everything that keeps me in touch with the game. I also do push ups and wall sit burpees squats, all of which requires no equipment or space,” said Suri, after posting a video of him practicing his pulls and drives at home.

Bobby, who has inspired Suri to take up the game, remarked: “We watch highlights of our favourite games on television, analysing and discussing the game. The cricket fever and passion at home is on twenty four hours seven days a week. We make sure we are not too distant, and when we come back we don’t want to be too rusty. We love the game and can’t wait to be back on the ground.”

190719 Chirag Suri
Chirag Suri in action for the UAE

Despite his hectic play schedule, Suri, who was on run spree in the Asian Cricket Council T20 tournament last month for the UAE with scores of 51 against Kuwait, 75 versus Saudi Arabia, and 60 against Kuwait in the final to ensure the title, used to find time to train youngsters at his Front Foot Sports Academy.

He now advises them to fight and overcome this situation that has arisen because of the COVID- 19 pandemic. “I have been speaking to some of the players. We are all missing the game. I told them that rather than complaining and getting negative about the situation, it will be more helpful to think positive. There will be better days ahead, but right now health and safety should be the biggest priority. Reading inspiring books and even breathing exercises are very good,” said 25-year-old Suri, whose fitness has also made him one of the best fielders in the UAE team.