Kolkata, April 10 (IANS) Far away in distant Sydney, India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is praying everyday that his parents, both police officers, are safe and sound as they continue working in the frontline in Chandigarh amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Gurpreet has been in Australia for almost a month now and with India observing a 21-day lockdown from March 25, the 28-year-old has no idea about his duration of stay Down Under.
But while Gurpreet can afford to stay at his home in Sydney, his parents, father SP Tejinder Singh Sandhu of Punjab Police and mother DSP Harjit Kaur of Chandigarh Police, have to venture out everyday to ensure that lockdown protocols are maintained in Chandigarh.
“Things in Chandigarh are fine. Mum and dad are police officers so they have to go to their jobs. So they need to do that. They are safe. I speak to them almost everyday. But the number of cases are rising in India which is a concern,” Gurpreet told IANS from Sydney on Friday.
“But I am glad that lockdown happened at the right time especially in a country like India where we have so many people. I am really proud of the citizens who have understood the point and have stayed home,” said the ace Bengaluru FC custodian.
Gurpreet said things are better in Australia and the curve is slowly flattening.
“We are safe staying indoors, following government guidelines. I have no idea what is the timeline of my stay because of the restrictions on travel and stuff. To jab update aayega (when update will come), I will have a plan in hand.
“Here things are looking under control. The percentage of the virus has gone down significantly. Winter is coming. Weather is good here.”
Asked about his training during lockdown, the two-time Indian Super League (ISL) Golden Glove winner said he is doing non equipment based workout at home besides household work.
“I try to do all the house work and try to keep fit by doing some non-equipment exercises. There is a ground also nearby so I try to go there every now and then and train. But it’s not the same without the team.”
Gurpreet helped Bengaluru FC reach the semifinals this season before they lost to eventual champions ATK over two legs.
“The season as a team I was proud of the boys the way they played. It’s very normal to not win a trophy every single time. We need to get stronger from that and learn.”
On him winning the Golden Glove, the former Stabaek FC keeper said: “Winning the Golden Glove would not have been possible without my teammates because it’s a team sport and a clean sheet is a collective effort.”
The first Indian footballer to play for a European top division club, Gurpreet added that he is has started doing some online courses to keep himself busy during the lockdown period.
“Today itself, I started to do some online courses to pass some time. You can educate yourself, internet is there you can learn a lot of things,” he concluded.