Since mid-March, Bangladesh's whole sporting arena has come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. With time, the situation has only worsened. And even though sports has returned in many countries over the last couple of months, the scene for Bangladesh is still grim.
Such a break is a huge blow for any player and it is torture for hardworking athletes like Mushfiqur Rahim.
Mushfiq is well-known for his work ethics and how he trains the most amongst his compatriots. As Mushfiq got restless sitting at home, he applied to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to permit him to practice. But considering the pandemic situation, BCB turned it down.
In such a time of crisis, Mushfiq now has posted an open letter on his official Facebook page, talking about former Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's Covid-19 infection, his days in lockdown, how he is dealing with Covid-19 and also sent a message to his fans.
Answering the question of how he is doing during this pandemic, Mushfiq said, "First of all, it is very disappointing and frustrating for anyone to sit in their house for a long time...on the other hand I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family. To be honest, being a cricketer we hardly get this much holiday."
"In my last 15-year cricketing career I haven't spent this much time at home. Alhamdulillah, so far I am enjoying this break but feeing so sorry for those people who got affected and died for the virus.
I am certainly missing my cricketing activities the most... I am not able to go outside for practice," Mushfiq added.
"It was shocking but the way this virus is spreading in our country it looks like most of us will be affected by this virus. I think the people of Bangladesh are not well educated and also are not aware of this situation. Moreover, they are not maintaining the very least of the health rules. Brother like Mashrafee Bin Mortaza is a legend and In shaa Allah he will recover soon..By hearing this news I am taking more caution now," wrote the wicket-keeper batsman.
"I think it is very difficult for the government to take care of people all over Bangladesh. Personal health rules should be followed strictly for our safety as well as for our family members until there is a vaccine invented," he added.
Mushfiq also talked about the struggles he is facing due to the pandemic situation. He said, "As a player, it is difficult to maintain your focus and patience to be honest because we don't know when and how long will it take to recover from this pandemic. So, therefore, staying most of the time at home was challenging but as a player, I am maintaining my fitness level, trying to follow a good appetite and also washing my hands frequently. If I have to go outside for an emergency basis I always wear a mask and hand gloves. After coming back from outside I make sure to give all my clothes for washing and take a shower. Being a player and also a citizen of Bangladesh I have some social responsibility as well. I am doing some awareness programme with the government. I am trying to help the poor people... things like that."
"Covid-19 has not only affected my work, it has affected the whole world. Being an athlete I can't go outside. I have to maintain my fitness by doing all the physical activities at home. I also can't go to the field and do frustrating skill work... I can't go to the mosque frequently for prayer, can't go to my relatives' houses, cannot go for shopping etc," added Bangladesh's first double centurion.
He also sent out a message to his fans saying, "I think as we haven't faced this kind of crisis before, we don't know how to handle this situation better. For me, I think we have to stay home as much as we can. If u go outside then strictly follow the health rules. Try to help poor people in this pandemic, perform prayer more than the past, seek forgiveness, have patience and pray to Almighty Allah so that he can give us Shifa'ah (cure) as He is the only one who can save the whole world from this pandemic."
Mushfiq also disclosed his daily routine in his post. He said, "Once I wake up from bed, I do physical activities using the treadmill and all the weights that I have bought. Then I play with my son - sometimes I feed him with my hand, sometimes I play with him in the shower. Listening to the Holy Quran is one of the activities I am doing nowadays along with helping my wife with household works, learning some cooking from her and trying to cook some dishes as well."
There has been some hope of light for players like Mushfiq recently as BCB said that they were ready for practice. And with cricket returning within a few days through the Test match between England and West Indies, there is surely hope.