Auckland, June 3: New Zealand gun-quick Lockie Ferguson has said he is looking forward to training and is working towards an Indian Premier League (IPL) if that happens amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking at an October-November window to host the cash-rich 13th edition of the league which has been postponed due to the health crisis. Ferguson will turn out for two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) led by Dinesh Karthik.
"Fortunately, here in New Zealand we're settling back to normal -- doing our strength and conditioning. We'll be doing it for the next month or so and then I'll slowly start to get back to bowling, and hopefully, come September, there might be cricket, with rumours floating there might be an IPL. I'm working towards that and very much looking forward to the training," Ferguson told ESPNCricinfo.
Asked how challenging it will be for his body to deal with the stress of bowling quick after this downtime, Ferguson said: "The key to any sport, especially bowling in cricket, where there is high stress, is that you need to train your body to be used to that exercise over a period of time, and give it a chance to learn to do it again (after a lull), and build up the volume of doing it. If you start out slowly and give yourself more time, it's amazing what your body can adjust to."
Although he believes health is a priority now and the right thing should be done, Ferguson said nothing can beat playing in front of crowds.
Ferguson was part of the Sydney ODI played on March 13 against Australia behind closed doors. This might be the new normal for cricket going forward due to the COVID-19 crisis. "It was an interesting experience. We were unsure whether we might play or not," he said.
"It took a lot of energy out of the series, obviously, and a lot of other sporting events were being closed down too. Playing the game was certainly interesting. I know there are a couple of memes going around of me fetching the ball from the empty stands.
"You can't put it into words, how much fun it is (playing in front of crowds). Just as the fans love it, the players love it as well -- the energy. Obviously, health is priority now and we should all do the right thing," said the 28-year old. During the lockdown, Ferguson said he has been doing a lot of meditation.
"I'm doing a lot more meditation, which is really good and I've really enjoyed it. Because we have a routine now from Monday to Friday, the time has actually gone quickly for me.
"I've sort of really been interested to create a routine where meditation is part of my plans. But it can be difficult from time to time when you're travelling around -- you sometimes forget to do it.
"I certainly believe that it's very healthy for people and I feel a lot better after it. It's a chance to take control of your brain.
"Sometimes I think we all fall into the trap of our thoughts running wild, but it's nice to take some time out for yourself and slow those thoughts down and just centre yourself a little bit instead of worrying too much about the future or the past."