Professional athletes have had one of the biggest breaks from the sport in their careers as the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the sporting calendar to a grinding halt across the globe. Sports stars aren’t complaining much about the time away from the sport, given they have got an opportunity to be at home with their loved ones.

Decorated squash star Dipika Pallikal said the lockdown in India to control the spread of the novel coronavirus has given her an opportunity to spend more time with her husband and India cricketer, Dinesh Karthik.

At this time of the year, Dinesh Karthik would have been busy plotting the downfall of opposition teams with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. However, the IPL 2020 has been suspended until further notice and it has missed the April-May window due to the pandemic.

Instead of marshalling the troops at Eden Gardens, Dinesh Karthik is ‘trying new household chores’ among other things to keep himself busy, according to wife Dipika Pallikal.

“Athletes like us hardly get time to spend with our families, but this lockdown has given both of us [Dinesh Karthik and me] an opportunity to spend time together. Now since we have all the time in the world to spend with each other, we are getting to try out new household chores which take most of our time,” Dipika Pallikal spoke of her life in lockdown with Dinesh Karthik.

‘We understand each other’s needs as a sportsperson’

Dipika doesn’t get involved too much in cricket. In fact, cricket doesn’t interest her much and she prefers watching squash even on television, according to Karthik who has spoken about her wife’s preferences in the past.

In fact, Dipika said that she and her husband don’t like speaking about their respective sport when at home but both understand and respect what it takes to become world-class professional athletes.

With both of them having busy professional schedules, they prefer to keep sport away from their conversations while spending time with each other.

“Dinesh and I, we both understand each other’s needs as a sportsperson, but we always prefer to talk about other things in life and not specifically talk about our respective sport,” Dipika said.

“I think the biggest advantage is that we both understand that there’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into becoming a world class athlete. I don’t think there’s ever been a time we have complained because we have been far apart and doing different things.”

Dipika, who is known for her high-intensity fitness routines, said she is missing training outdoors but working out at home is providing her with the much-needed positivity during the crisis that has affected millions and millions of lives across the globe.

“Before the lockdown, we hardly got time to stay at home, now the situation is such that we can’t step out. The one thing I miss the most is practicing outdoors.

“I am focusing on my fitness while staying indoors. We have discovered new ways of keeping fit at home, and now I have one more reason to continue my sessions even longer as I can contribute to our frontline workers through adidas’ unique proposition – HomeTeam Heroes Challenge where my workouts are being utilized for a noble cause.

“Staying positive is really important at such times. I believe sports and fitness are one of the few things that can bring positivity and happiness into the lives of people,” Dipika said.

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