Lockdown may be keeping cricketers at home but it isn't stopping them from entertaining their fans. Many have increased their social media activity and have allowed glimpses of their private lives and conversations. We're particularly impressed with the content these five have put out.
Shreyas Iyer has always had a strong social media game, but the lockdown has seen him elevate it. He's got the whole family involved. His sister and mother make sure him having to do household chores doesn't mean he skips fielding practice.
And his dog, Betty, has brushed up on her slip catching.
Poor Betty doesn't quite catch on when Iyer plays pranks on her, though.
And there's a secret member of the family too.
The lockdown may be stopping cricketers from playing cricket, but it was never going to stop them playing the sport they truly love most: golf. So what if the courses are shut? You can always improvise at home. And no one did it better than Scotland wicketkeeper Matthew Cross. His trick shot involving three cricket bats and a jar sparked a full-on competition with Shaun Pollock, complete with sledging and wild celebrations.
friend not food... pic.twitter.com/2YBLPyY1lJ— Matthew Cross (@crossy16) April 9, 2020
Sorry bud but I couldn't count how many..... pic.twitter.com/lUHXPRtBTs— Shaun Pollock (@7polly7) April 18, 2020
Cross wasn't about to stop with cricket bats. He used everything from kitchenware to shoe boxes to his college degree to create more trick shots.
Finally putting my degree to use... pic.twitter.com/YIaY2qMARu— Matthew Cross (@crossy16) April 30, 2020
Celebrating cause I can make dinner now... pic.twitter.com/5rYyCbmfdP— Matthew Cross (@crossy16) May 7, 2020
Away from the stuffy post-match presentations, press conferences and television interviews, cricketers have dropped the cliches and allowed fans to listen in on casual, candid conversations with their team-mates and opponents. Several have interviewed other cricketers on Instagram Live, and, among them, Rohit Sharma has got the tone spot on, being forthright with his opinions, eliciting similarly forthright opinions from others and ensuring plenty of interesting anecdotes find their way into the conversations. Ever wanted to ask Harbhajan Singh what his Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni's retirement plans are? Or were curious about how Rohit and Yuvraj Singh struck up such a close friendship? Or wanted to know what Rohit has in common with David Warner? You'll find it all on Rohit's Instagram live chats.
You know the world has really undergone a seismic change when David Warner is suddenly the cuddly dad making funny Tiktok videos featuring his wife and two girls. But Warner really has shown comic timing, whether he's dancing to Tollywood songs, lip-syncing Michael Jackson's Bille Jean or on percussion duty in the family band.
If you're looking for variety, Pietersen's feeds are the place. He's got fitness videos, Tiktok videos complete with special effects, golf and live chats with players all in one place.
Kaustubh Kumar and Annanya Johari are part of ESPNcricinfo's social media team