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ICC World T20 2014: India warm-up to semi-final by playing football barefoot

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India have been on a rollicking ride in the World T20 © Getty Images

Mirpur: Apr 1, 2014

Football remained pretty much a part of Indian cricketers’ training stints but what was unusual was that they played barefoot, the hour-long leisurely session reflecting the team’s new-found confidence following its qualification to the ICC World T20 2014 semifinals.

They trained at the BCB Cricket Academy ground, three days ahead of their last-four clash against South Africa. It was the first time that an Indian cricket team was having a full training session without wearing their sports shoes.

After the end of the session, senior cricketer and hero of last match, Yuvraj Singh, was seen limping but the seriousness or extent of pain was not known.

Yuvraj normally wears knee braces during training but his left ankle was protected by a crepe bandage as he walked towards the team bus.

Asked about Yuvraj’s condition, Indian team’s trainer Nitin Patel said, “Why are you asking me? You know I am not supposed to answer any questions.”

From a viewer’s point, the training was something different. If you hail from West Bengal or Bangladesh, watching some of the megastars playing barefoot would certainly add a local flavour and force one to take a trip down memory lane.

No wonder, the best footballer on the park was skipper MS Dhoni, someone who could effortlessly use the inside and outside dodge, chip the ball while taking a free kick. Dhoni’s childhood has been spent in MECON quarters in Ranchi and he has played football for DAV Shyamali. His game-sense is certainly a cut above his teammates.

When someone asked the reason for playing barefoot, Dhoni said with a straight face, “Paise khatam ho gaye (We don’t have any money left)”.

It’s learnt from team sources that trainer Sudarshan had suggested the idea so that the players break the monotony.


ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

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