Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 12 July 2020

India batsman Prithvi Shaw says life without cricket was 'torture' following doping ban

Young cricketer tells how eight-month ban after inadvertently taking prohibited substance made him 'hungrier than ever'

Prithvi Shaw returned to the international fold for India earlier this year after serving an enight-month suspension for doping. Reuters
Prithvi Shaw returned to the international fold for India earlier this year after serving an enight-month suspension for doping. Reuters

India opener Prithvi Shaw says time spent on the sidelines serving a doping suspension was "torture" but had made him more determined to showcase his talent.

Shaw, 20, was handed a backdated eight-month suspension by the Board of Control for Cricket in India last year for the doping violation after saying he had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance.

Shaw, who smashed a century on his Test debut against West Indies in 2018, returned to the international fold earlier this year for the tour of New Zealand, but struggled as the tourists went down 2-0.

"It was a mistake. And the period away from cricket was a torture," the Delhi Capitals player told fans of his Indian Premier League team in an Instagram Live chat.

"Doubts and questions arise, but I kept the faith and belief ... When the ban got over, and I returned to domestic cricket, I was hungrier than before.

"I picked up my bat and realised I hadn't lost my touch at all. If anything, that time off made me a more determined person."

Shaw made 98 runs during the Test series in New Zealand, with his best score 54 in the seven-wicket defeat in the second Test at Hagley Oval.

He made his one-day debut in that bilateral series too, with India whitewashed 3-0.

With this year's IPL suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, Shaw stressed that patience was key in coping with the lull in cricket.

"Mental strength is very important at this time, given that we are all restricted indoors," he said.

"A lot of us don't have patience for things in life, so now is a great time to work on it.

"I've been working out a bit indoors and shadow practising to maintain my fitness levels."

Updated: April 23, 2020 04:46 AM

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