Not too long ago, I wrote about the mental impact bio-bubbles have on cricketers.
But I really think it’s going to reach a point of torture for the South African players soon.
They have just finished the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in a bubble, following up from their Cape bio-bubble for the visit from England in November.
And now Quinton de Kock and his teammates get to spend a full 10 days with their families before heading off to Pakistan where they will be “locked up” again.
Asked about the bubbles during the Covid-19 pandemic, De Kock said: “It’s unsettling. There is a lot of nervousness that goes around when it comes to the bubble.
“Things that you are not used to in life – one day we could just be going about life as usual and then lockdown.
“Then you could be stuck in a bubble. We could be stuck in a lockdown somewhere in a place for a period of time, which is a worst case scenario.
“Because of the bubbles, it just makes the tours longer also. With the quarantine period, you stay in a room for a certain amount of time.
“So ja, it’s very unsettling.
“I don’t know how long it could last for. But for now we just deal with it in the best way possible.”
The reality of possibly sitting in a foreign country during a hard lockdown is frightening for anyone.
So for the sake of the players, I’d suggest to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to scrap Test match tours for now. You are going to take the fun out of the players’ jobs.
And therefore your product will suffer.
I do understand that they have the Test Championships and all of that to complete, but now is the time to scrap al daai dinge, I reckon.
Give the trophy to Australia or whoever is at the top of the standings and think on your feet.
Here is an idea that I think might excite both players and fans alike: how about a Test match World Cup?
A lekker vinnige knockout tournament.
Organise a bubble Down Under – daar waar die ouens apparently nie no sukkel met die virus nie.
The way I see it is that you select a province where there are two world-class cricket grounds.
If it was to be staged in South Africa, Boland Park and Newlands would have been a good example, with one big bubble in the Mother City.
That allows you to play two matches simultaneously.
What I’d suggest is using the ICC World Championship standings as qualifiers.
Bangladesh, in ninth, will then be the team to miss out on the tournament – ons soek nou net even numbers to keep the admin to a minimum.
That means the tournament starts at the quarterfinal stage.
The top-ranked team, Australia, will face No.8, the West Indies, in the first round of the knockouts. India in second face Sri Lanka in seventh.
Third-placed New Zealand will then square off against Pakistan in sixth place, while De Kock and his fifth-placed Proteas will face an England team led by Joe Root.
Verloor en pak jou tassies – gaan huis toe.
Those matches will take place in the space of 12 days – I allow two days for the groundsman to get their second pitch heeltemal sorted.
Then it’s the semis before the finals and at the end of the day, you have a World Cup winner crowned within a month.
All that excitement packed into one tournament that will not only feed fans’ five-day hunger, but surely keep players on their toes.
So that’s Test match cricket done and dusted en nou weet ons wie is die kat met die dik stert.
Now I’m not saying scrap all international tours.
I believe during these times, there is room for limited overs tours – especially given the fact that most teams nowadays don’t have the same personnel for T20Is and ODIs.
The message to world cricket administrators is that times have changed and we need to move with it.
Your number one asset is the players and that means you should look after them.
I believe innovations like these will keep players interested. Of wat se julle?
Caption: LOCKED DOWN: The
Proteas are suffering
Caption: OPPONENT: Pom captain Joe Root
Caption: FAVOURITES: Aussies are on top of the Test Championship