It was poised to be one of the most exciting cricket series in India and yet, it was abandoned, in a sense, without even a ball being bowled. To many, it was to have brought out the palpable excitement of seeing two of the finest timers and hitters of the cricket ball head-to-head in 3 ODIs yet, one never got to see Virat Kohli pitting against Quinton de Kock. Some delights, it can only be said, are never meant to be seen in front of the pleasure of the naked eye; they only last as the imagined “would-have-been”! The South African Cricket team had only recently arrived in India.
And now, they are on their way back home, the ODI series having been called off owing to the dreaded scare all thanks to the Coronavirus. Just who would’ve thought that such a thing would’ve even happened? Did we not expect the powerful side, now seemingly stronger (than the period of rustiness seen against England) with the return of names like Faf du Plessis all set to challenge India’s authority?
Just imagine the kind of excitement even a seemingly truncated series- no more than 3 ODIs- promised before all of it only remained a pen-on-paper series, the actual games never taking place at Lucknow and the Eden Gardens, post Dharamshala’s washout.
India, on the other hand, would’ve relished the South African challenge- having already found themselves cornered in New Zealand. In that regard, a comeback in the 50-over games, post the Test and ODI humiliation to Kane Williamson’s men (even without Rohit Sharma) would’ve been just the kind of thing that fans would’ve liked.
Alas, none of that was to happen!
That being said, make no mistake. There are still troubles and uncertainties amok for the visiting South African cricket team.
Apparently, it’s not exactly clear how the South African Cricket team is going to find its way out of the Coronavirus-plagued India.
It is believed that the Rajarhat hotel in West Bengal is where the South African cricket team are likely to be lodged before they head out and catch the international flight. Now, this is a change in plans.
Earlier, it was known that they would be lodged in a hotel at Alipore, that’s much closer to the Eden Gardens, which, as told earlier, was slated to be the (final) venue of the third one day international.
But for now, there is no other option for the South African cricket team than to stay holed in at their hotel before catching on a flight on Tuesday.
So the itinerary suggests that the team would hop on to a flight to Dubai from where they’d be flown into South Africa.
A source close to the South African cricket team stated, “Authorities wanted them to stay closer to the airport, hence, Westin was the best option. CAB will arrange doctors to provide support. Our office bearers will be there too. We are in touch with the BCCI as well as the Bengal Government officials!”
That being told, much of the cricket action having been called off, one’s not sure when will active (or live) cricket resume around the world. Until then, one will have to perhaps rest only on constant cricketing updates. But one thing can be said for sure; given the fact that their last outing in Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah-land wasn’t the most memorable one, the South African cricket team would’ve surely wanted to return back with some positive results.
For now, let’s just hope that live cricket returns and one of the most loved sports of all time gets back to usual, the last big tournament being the Women’s T20 World Cup, 2020.