Fast bowler Dale Steyn is left wondering what his fellow South Africans will fall back on other than sports which he feels is the only uniting factor in a country with an apartheid past. Also Read - Uber, Flipkart Tie up to Deliver Essential Items For People in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai
With coronavirus bringing the sporting world to a standstill, Steyn reckons it’s a pity that everything has been blocked off even though he’s chilling at home. Also Read - Fighting Covid-19: Railways Converts 2500 Coaches Into Isolation Wards, Achieves Half of Its Target | See Pictures
“It is actually such a pity that everything is being blocked off, because in a country like South Africa, where we have all of our problems from the past – culture, religion, ethnic backgrounds – the one thing that brings everybody together is sport,” Steyn told ESPNCricinfo. Also Read - Haryana Man Uses Bedsheets as Rope to Escape COVID-19 Test From Hospital, Falls and Dies
He added, “But now at the moment, you don’t have that. In South Africa, we kind of like looking for things that unite people in big, big groups. When you don’t have sport, it’s like, oh, what do we fall back onto? And I think Nelson Mandela was the first person to really say that: sport unites people in a way that nothing else does. And if you take sport away, then I don’t know really what we have. We’re gonna have to work it all out.”
Almost all major sporting events have either been cancelled or postponed to mitigate the impact of the deadly COVID-19 that has affected over 2,00,00 globally. In a state of panic, there have been reports of people stockpiling essentials in case of emergency buy Steyn has avoided that.
“We just decided that stockpiling is definitely not the way to go,” he said. “It is not fair on everybody who needs that stuff. I went to the grocery store the other day and everyone had bought all the toilet paper. We have what we need, and when that runs out, that runs out, and we need to go and get some more. We didn’t feel it was necessary to go and absolutely just, like, zombie our lives up.”
“There’s other people that live on a day-to-day basis. They are not going to get all of that stuff, so we thought it was best not to do that,” he added.
Steyn recently returned from Pakistan where he was playing in the PSL which was cancelled amid coronavirus threat. “We were under that kind of hotel arrest – advised not to go out and wander the streets, which is totally fine; I don’t want to break protocol and (have) something happen and be blamed for cricket never being played in Pakistan again because I did something stupid,” the 36-year-old recalled.
When asked which match/tournament from the he’ll watch if stuck at home, Steyn replied, “I would probably say that they should put every World Cup up until ’99 on. So 1992, ’96, ’99 – I love those World Cups. And even the one in South Africa (2003) because that’s when I really started to get into guys like Brett Lee, because I knew the possibility of me playing against them or meeting them was so much closer than what it was in, say, ’92, when I first got introduced to the game.”