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Chirag Suri: “You Get to Learn a Lot About Mental Power During Ramadan”
Even for those not fasting, Ramadan can be an important time for our athletes. The UAE star cricketer explains.
A renowned batsman with an impressive record in T20 cricket, Chirag Suri might be notching up runs on the field but away from the game, the sportsman has just hit his biggest personal achievement – getting married.
Having tied the knot in March 2020, Suri – who became the first UAE player to appear in the Indian Premier League (IPL), says his best way to unwind before or after a game is spending quality time with his wife - something which he plans to do more of during Ramadan.
“Cricket takes up a lot of time, as you can imagine, but I think it is also important to spend a lot of good quality time with family, whether it is just going for a run with my wife or cooking together,” he says. "It is very important to balance life."
And with matches ground to a halt for much of 2020, the events of the past year has taught him a lot about how to train the mind to adapt.
“During that time, I got to spend a lot of time with family, and I have learned from that. I think whatever situation you are in, you have to make the most of it and as an athlete, that is the sort of mental conditioning everyone needs,” he says. “Family time is my way of unwinding; whether it is watching a movie with my wife or with my brother, or going out for a good family meal. Once in a while, we like to go out for fancy meals but I love home-cooked food and typical Indian food.”
As a sportsman, Suri also likes to embrace all types of fitness, especially racquet sports including tennis and table tennis.
“I love playing those with my brother and my dad. I also love going out for drives, and I have recently started hiking which I love, and I also like rock climbing.
“Whatever hobbies I do, it is often about being active.”
A typical day will see Suri wake up at about 7.30 am and walk in the early morning sunshine before breakfast then training five hours a day, five times a week with the UAE national team. After a power nap, Suri will often hit the gym or go for a run before unwinding with his family.
While he says his dream day would revolve around a long lie-in – “I love sleeping!” - Suri says that “high energy” ultimately wins, as he is grateful for being able to realise his dream job of representing the UAE in the sport he has loved since he was a child.
During Ramadan, the batsman plays for two different cricket leagues in the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.
“During this month, I lie in and get in some gym time in the afternoon and then spend quality time with the family before I get ready for the evening games which normally start at about 8.30 pm.
“I really enjoy time during this month. It’s a good cleanse for everyone, even for those who are not fasting. You get to learn a lot about mental power.”
Away from his family and fitness, Suri, who first learned to play cricket at the Modern School in Delhi before moving to the UAE at the age of 10, is now concentrating on topping his many achievements.
“It is my dream to do well for the UAE in coming years. When you set a standard high, it is very important that you keep breaking that standard and you keep getting better.
“One big goal of mine would be getting the Player of The Year award as an international cricketer. That, and getting lots of scores of 100 or more runs in a single inning and a big dream is to play in the World Cup.”