As much as I would like nothing more than to sit back and watch some Test cricket against India at Newlands on tweede Nuwejaar, I don’t smaak sport enough to turn into a full-blown Grinch and steal the joy of those who bring joy to millions.
And that’s what I believe we’ll be doing if we try to save the Proteas v India series at all cost.
Ladies and gentlemen, think of what the world has gone through over the last year or so. Think about loved-ones lost, sacrifices made, the right to see your family and friends on a daily basis being taken away from you because of the constraints of this virus.
A word to the money men - these sports stars are people too. They’ve also been hit with the same issues you have.
Believe it or not, but I reckon they have sacrificed more than many of us in their jobs - sitting for months on end in bio bubbles to put smiles on our faces.
Under normal circumstances these guys would have played the India series, no problem.
But with the new Covid-19 variant coming into effect, it means they will now have to be in a hard bubble again.
And here I won’t blame some of the top guys in the team if they decide to sit out the event after already going through eight bubbles this season.
Cricket South Africa sent out a statement saying how secure the bubbles will be for the India series.
CSA’s Chief Medical Officer, Shuaib Manjra was quoted as saying: “CSA has instituted world class standards and measures to ensure that all players, staff and officials are protected within this environment. Our main focus was to safeguard the cricket biosphere by managing strict entry standards and limited movement outside of its cordon.”
Limited movement outside of its cordon - in die middel van die festive season.
For those that don’t know, this series is scheduled to start on December 17 with the first Test - I’m sure the guys will be imprisoned before then - and ends with the last ODI on January 16.
Evidence of the mental torture these guys will through was visible in that statement, for those who cared to listen.
Test captain Dean Elgar was quoted as saying: “It [the bio-bubble] takes a toll on a player mentally and yet this team continues to produce good results and make progress – that’s something that I personally don’t think is being spoken about enough.”
Limited overs captain Temba Bavuma echoed: “CSA has to be commended for the way that they have gone about the BSEs. It hasn’t been an easy year for us all. Being confined to a hotel room and being restricted from leaving the hotel and having the choice – in most places away from home – between your room and the team room and little access outside the hotel takes its toll, particularly for the all-format playing members of the team and management.”
I repeat - this will take place during the festive season when friends and family are facing a new strain of Covid-19 on the outside.
As South Africans we have to make peace with the fact that the world doesn’t want to touch us at the moment. Whether it’s deserved or not can be debated tot die perde horings kry.
What we can’t afford is to punish our own mense. We can’t have these players sweat it out for five days to entertain hordes of mense while they are chilling with their families at home and then expect these manne to be locked up in a hotel room after entertaining us.
Sounds to me like something out of a Gladiator movie.
It might not be the popular opinion, but let’s not chain our guys like this.
If the series can’t be played under normal circumstances, postpone it. The significance of playing India 30 years after we first played them when out sporting isolation was lifted is not lost to me, but surely we can’t do this at the expense of our mense.
Don’t be a Grinch, let’s postpone what should be an epic series.