The postponement of IPL 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for India medium pacer Deepak Chahar as the delay has given him time to regain full fitness from his lower-back injury.
Chahar, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, is now eagerly waiting to make his return to competitive cricket once the situation normalises.
"I am looking forward to bowling again. For now, the idea is to stay fit," the 27-year-old said.
Chahar sustained a stress fracture on his lower back midway through the ODI series against the West Indies in December last year, which ruled him out of action until the end of March.
He admitted that he would have missed CSK's first few games if the IPL 2020 had started as scheduled on March 29.
"When things are not in your control, there is little you can do. So, I focus on what I can do during that time. I am trying to learn new things, focus on my fitness - as you know I was injured and getting back. This gives me more time to recover," he was quoted as saying on CSK's official website.
"Had the IPL season started on time, I would have missed the first few matches," said Chahar, whose 6 for 7 (including a hat-trick) against Bangladesh last year was declared the ICC T20I performance of the year.
The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29, has been suspended till April 15 with no clarity yet on whether it would go ahead at all.
The deadly contagion has so far claimed nearly 150 Indian lives apart from causing more than 80,000 global deaths which has forced countries, including India, to go under lockdown in their bid to flatten the curve.
Chahar said it is a difficult time for all but the need of the hour is to stay safe and positive as the country battles through a nation-wide 21 lockdown imposed to curb the deadly virus.
"It is obviously a difficult time for all of us, everything coming to a standstill. Loss of business and jobs, especially for daily wage workers," he said.
"Be safe, learn something new now that you have time. Stay positive, stay in the time," added Chahar, who played three ODIs and 10 T20 Internationals for India.