India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin says the lockdown in wake of COVID-19 is perhaps nature’s way of reminding that at times sportspersons take the game too seriously when there are far bigger things in life.
The novel coronavirus has so far claimed 11 Indian lives along with 500 positive cases with global death toll crossing 16,000.
“Right now is the time to find solutions instead of blaming this country or that country,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo. “The solution for the time being seems to be social-distancing and patience. Hopefully science finds a breakthrough soon.”
He added: “There is a lesson in all this: we take the game too seriously. There are far bigger things than the game that can hamper it.”
Ashwin said that he is not thinking about the game right now even though he is missing the competition.
“For a change, despite so much free time on hand, I haven’t thought much about the game,” the 33-year-old said. “For once, the craving to watch something on TV is not there. I don’t know how this has happened, but it has. I have not gone on YouTube looking for old clips either.”
In normal times, one trains with a certain purpose, something drastically different. “Nor am I missing the game as such except the rigours and tensions of playing the sport, the pressure of it, just trying to compete. Every day you are looking forward to something,” Ashwin said.
“If you go to practice, you are looking forward to, say, the IPL, the TNPL, or club cricket. To some cricket. Tomorrow if I have to turn up at the nets, I don’t know what to look forward to.”
But that also adds a new perspective, Ashwin feels. “There is a freshness to that, to be honest. You don’t have to look forward to anything. Just turn up and enjoy the game. Need to bowl the ball or hit the ball and not worry about what is in front of you.
“Obviously I am not going to go out to bat or bowl in the near future, but if I do in isolation, I think it will be great.”