With normality steadily returning in New Zealand with reports claiming it could remove all lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks, fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is looking forward to begin outdoor training and get back into the rigours of playing competitive cricket.

Top-flight cricket competitions has been suspended across the world for over two months now but governing authorities including ICC are now working towards organising series in bio-secure environment now.

BCCI is eyeing the October-November window for the suspended IPL should the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup be cancelled.

“Fortunately, here in New Zealand we’re settling back to normal — doing our strength and conditioning,” Ferguson told ESPNcricinfo. “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 has a contract with two-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders.

Should cricket return amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the matches are expected to be held under strict guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone involved and that includes playing in empty stadiums.

Ferguson, who was part of the Sydney ODI earlier this year which was played behind closed doors, admits the absence of fans does rob any competition of the atmosphere.

“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,” the 28-year-old said.

“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,” he added.

Ferguson also spoke on the challenges of returning to training after a long layoff.

“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,” he said.

Ferguson has been meditating during the lockdown period saying it has helped him avoid negative thoughts.

“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,” he said.

He continued, “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.”