Cricket fixtures have always been so closely placed that players have never really known the meaning of a true break. Kagiso Rabada, the South African fast bowler, thinks along the same lines.
A player who has been quite the key to South Africa’s strength in the last couple of years has always spent his time with constant cricket matches lined up. The 25-year-old has navigated between playing at Kent, England, to Delhi Capitals in the IPL tournament. His IPL team also stands as the third favourite team in this year’s competition, and fans have been proving the same through IPL betting.
Indeed seen as one of the gifted performers, he stresses on the fact that he’s barely felt rest for the last five years. However, amidst the pandemic, cricketers were greeted with an opportunity like never before.
“It was easier to spend time with friends and family. However, this was also the longest we had ever gone without a game,” said Rabada to Betway, as a response to the indefinite postponement of all fixtures earlier this year.
It is quite the popular opinion that this clean state had a refreshing impact on players. Rabada went on to pursue his other interests and even featured on a podcast “The Viral Wellness” meanwhile.
Quinton de Kock, who can be seen as another reliable pillar for South Africa in the world of cricket, also showed his love for the much-needed break. Knowing the relentless nature of cricket, he knew this was a time to stay thankful and relax.
The much loved South African dashed his comments with a human touch by saying that “Cricket hasn’t been that much on my mind lately. However, I’ve tried to keep myself fit. I’ve spent time doing activities I never thought I’d find the time to.” chuckled the wicketkeeper.
Returning to the life-changing game in the IPL, we cannot wait to see what it looks like for the two.
International players, despite being in a variety of forms, have demonstrated the ability to add a rhythm to the game. So, we eagerly look forward to the new “September to November” magic IPL can wield instead of its “March to May” relative.
De Kock, who finds his place in the widely followed Mumbai Indians, says “We’ve trained and tried to get fitness into the picture. We want to perform well after such a long break.”
Most faces feel the excitement and a sense of readiness about being back again. Players feel they have had quite some time on their plate to rejuvenate and get things going.
That being said, the shift in location seems to have changed the very essence of the tournament. Despite the circumstances turning better, there are chances that certain matches could well be behind closed doors.
It might be difficult for players who have always thrived with a fanbase to adjust to this. No crowd or the reduced crowd will separate the fever that shapes IPL altogether.
“We will all miss the fan fever we have always seen in IPL,” says De Kock.
However, the players agree that the quality of the games won’t be impacted. It is about skill and demonstration. The game will go on to the pleasure of screen viewers in 2020 as players promise exceptional performances.
“I understand that hype and fever have been compromised. Yet I think the game will meet its professional requirements and be as entertaining as ever.” retorts Rabada.
He also mentions how crucial it is for a bowler to have the fandom on their side when going against top Indian favourites like MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli. Rabada seems to enjoy every bit of the game as seems all prepped and decked to be back at it.
Athletes have it in them and can get things going in a variety of ways, and that is what De Kock demonstrates. While Rabada sticks by the emotions and appreciates them, De Kock has a different take about the loved faces that shape the Indian team.
“I’ve seen them as normal people, always. We’re all loved in our country, and we’re all chasing the same ideals at the end of the day. Kohli is just as human as us.”
De Kock’s perspective on going against Indian legends is different and titillating. Now acting as South Africa’s white-ball captain, the 27-year-old has always been a crucial player for the team. His abilities as a batsman and a key keeper have always found him a place.
After the long break, the stars seem energized to get back to the game that changed their lives, and we sure are looking forward to what comes of it and who lives up to the performance ideals.