India Test mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara reckons that sport rightly has taken the backseat in times like these as humans lives are more important and is hopeful the situation will return to normal in the coming months. Also Read - Unlock 1: Over 9,800 Cases Recorded in Last 24 Hours; Religious Institutions Prepare For Staggered Opening
Coronavirus has affected all walks of life with several countries under lockdown to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus. Consequently, the normal life has taken a brutal hit. Also Read - Once Team Management Decides Something, I Don't Think There Should be a Place For Contrarian View: Wriddhiman Saha
“Something like this can’t be controlled,” Pujara told The Times of India. “It has happened for the first time in our lives and I hope it won’t happen again. We can’t think about the game right now. I am sure things will be under control in a few months’ time. Then, we can think about county cricket and everything else.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Amid Surge in Cases in Capital, Delhi Government Issues New SOPs For COVID Hospitals | Read Here
He added, “Every major sporting event has been affected. County cricket will be no exception. Even if the county season doesn’t happen, one shouldn’t worry much because human lives are more important than any sport.”
Usually, this is the period when IPL is in full swing and Pujara, who hasn’t played in the league for some time now, plies his trade in England’s County Championship. Both the competitions have been suspended indefinitely and there’s no definite time-frame for cricketing action to resume anytime soon with coronavirus continuing to infect people globally.
“At times, you need to stay away from the game. Fortunately, this has come at the end of the season. Once the Ranji Trophy ended, I was supposed to take a break for a week or two. This has been longer than that. We don’t know when the game will restart. So we are in a tough situation,” Pujara admits.
“But if we look at the problems other people are facing, then we can’t really think about the game. The virus is so dangerous that we have to fight this together. It is like a war. We have to make sure everything becomes normal first. And then we can think about the game,” Pujara added.
Pujara, known for his immense patience, is channelising the qualities he has developed playing cricket to help deal with the ‘frustrating’ period when staying locked indoors is the necessity.
“Everyone should understand the danger and stay indoors, though it can be frustrating. But this is like a battle that we are fighting. Those qualities of patience and discipline do come in handy. The qualities I have as a cricketer are helping me deal with this period effectively. I have that mental strength. So it does help,” Pujara said.
Apart from doing his bit as a responsible citizen, Pujara has also contributed an undisclosed amount towards the PM Cares Fund and Gujarat CM Relief Fund.