Adil Khan FootballBy Shraishth Jain

AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: Positivity is a tonic that keeps us going -- even in the darkest of times.

With the entire nation under a three-week lockdown in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic, people are required to stay home. With family-time being a luxury in the life of a professional footballer, the extended span at home is a "lift in spirits,” as Blue Tigers defender Adil Khan described.

"During the season we miss being away from our loved ones. They sacrifice so much just to keep up focused, and whatever opportunities we get to spend quality time with them and express our gratitude, it's always special,” he stated.

“The current situation is a challenging one for people across the world, and getting to spend these days at home together with my wife has raised my spirits and mood.”

It was in April last year that Adil tied the knot with Khuri Irani, a popular sports presenter, and the two of them are currently at their home in Mumbai. Khuri talked about their routine these days, stating that they do the domestic chores together and try to cut down their screen time.

"We try to keep ourselves busy at home. We do the household chores, work out, play board games together -- and minimize the time we spend on our phones and television. We have a lot of time to bond, talk and get to know each other even better during this time,” she smiled. “This is the first time after our marriage that he has been at home for long. But we wished it came under more pleasant circumstances.”

The defender, known for his calmness under pressure and versatility across the pitch, spoke about being away from his parents in Goa in these trying times, and urged his fellow countrymen to "stick together.”

"Technology has made it easier to communicate and throughout the day, we are in touch with them. "It is a time for us to be together during this pandemic and come out of this stronger. I urge everyone to listen and adhere to the instructions given by the government, which are for our own safety. We should ensure we take all necessary precautions and take care of ourselves and our loved ones," he added.

The previous season was a memorable one for Adil as he made his return to the senior National Team after a gap of seven years in the 2019 King's Cup against hosts Thailand in June 2019 -- recording an assist and a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.

He has featured in all of India's five matches so far in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers -- including the historic draw away to Asian champions Qatar in September. A month later, he scored his first-ever goal for the Blue Tigers as well -- powerfully heading home a corner-kick against Bangladesh as the entire VYBK Stadium in Kolkata erupted in joy.

"I am extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to represent the nation once again. Personally, it was a great season for me. It is always a huge honour to play for India and to score for your country is just a magical feeling."

The goal in Kolkata was "unforgettable" for Adil and Khuri for a special reason -- with the latter reporting on the match and interviewing him on live television after the game.

"I can never forget when Adil scored against Bangladesh in Kolkata. It was a really special moment -- his first goal for India and I was fortunate to be there covering the game, and with him as his wife. The interview after the match was a surreal feeling for the both us," she said.

Despite the postponement of the next World Cup qualifier against Qatar, which was scheduled to take place on March 26, 2020, Adil is upbeat and hoping that the situation returns to normal soon.

"We need to be united in this battle and it is on our own hands to win it. I sincerely hope the day comes soon. We are looking forward to taking to the pitch and make our fans happy.”