Covid-19 has hit the world terribly, and it has hit cricket too. The year 2020 didn’t see much cricket, with the T20 World Cup being postponed onto the next year. It has affected many major tournaments around the world. And now, when its been two years since the pandemic struck the world, the fight with Covid is far from over. A domestic match in Australia was delayed by some days due to a player being tested positive. Back in August, the fifth and final test between India and England was forced to be indefinitely postponed since Covid had reached the Indian dressing room. Just a week ago, Australia Test Captain Pat Cummins had to sit out a match since he was deemed as a close contact.
And now, there’s a new variant in town – Omicron. On Tuesday, the number of Omicron patients passed the number of 100 in India. South African cricket has had to deal the most with this strain – with the first-class domestic tournament planned, the Mzansi Super League canceled, and the upcoming Test series forced to be played without any spectators. Elgar said the team’s on-field performances wouldn’t be affected by any of this.
Off-field problems are not an excuse for us to use – Elgar
“What happens off the field, for me, is irrelevant now,” he said. “Us as a players’ unit, we’ve been through such crappy times that we’ve actually formulated such a good bond within our group, and for me it’s not an excuse for us to use.
“If we were in the first month of all these bad kind of scenarios, then it might be that, but we’ve been there, and I think we’ve formulated something that works for us. I referred to us as the players’ group – we’re extremely strong, our culture’s been tested and pushed to levels that I didn’t think it would be pushed to in my short term of being captain, and I think we’ve come out on top of it.
“It’s all about the learning processes behind all that. We must always be mindful that even if things are bad off the field, we can’t use it as a cop-out for us. We’re a professional team, we’re professional players, we want to strive to areas still with regards to where we want to go as a team. We want to go up the rankings system still, and that’s our process going forward. We focus on cricket, and hopefully cricket will look after us.”