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Cricket's coronavirus: Fans of the game have an unprecedented responsibility on their shoulders

  • On the two identical C's of cricket and coronavirus, the latter of which is more vast than you think.
  • This one's for those who believe the entire corona thing is a sham that won't do anything if you have good immunity.
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 24 Mar 2020, 03:37 IST

The only spectator at the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand had bones made of metal
The only spectator at the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand had bones made of metal

Cricket fans, look away. And don't look back anytime soon. If you do, you'll probably catch PTSD.

Day 10 of no cricket has passed, and there's no solace in sight. You can't go out to your porch to shadow practise a shot, let alone partake in a five-over slog-fest in Ramu kaka's plot. You're looking back in nostalgia at your scant memories of busting the windows next door with your uncomplicated brand of cricket; maybe the neighbours are happy at not seeing you out over the last few days.

Maybe karma does strike back, after all.

But social media is the biggest-let down of them all. Your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds that had been purposefully manipulated to show you only posts like what colour underwear Virat Kohli is wearing today, have been colonized by this stupid virus that you've been hearing a lot of lately. Almost like they've been hacked.

Every person you know, from Harsha Bhogle to Aakash Chopra, Marcus Stoinis to Adam Zampa, Kevin Pietersen to Andrew Strauss, is tweeting about this, and it's getting on your nerves.

It's only a flu, as you've been told. But every time you gaze into your palms, you see 32,000 viruses swimming around with their noxious smiles, rather than the crests. You see the sanitizer sitting on top of the desk, the smell of which reminds you of your chickenpox.

It's just all the exposure, maybe you need some time off social media. Someone in China did eat your sustenance (hint: what do you take to the shower to perform stunts in front of the mirror?), but the entire world shouldn't be swooning over that.

You even flirt with the idea of taking a sleeping pill.

They're that irritating. The news channels are going on a PR heist. Passing the buck is the new cool, and there's no one better at it than their hosts. Their blaring sound is like cacophony to you, and you wonder how a billion people live around it.

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Then the clock strikes five, and you hear a thumping of metal in the background that makes you wonder if someone's been mourning a death. You rummage the closet for your headphones - noise-cancelling, preferably - and put them on without connecting to your phone.

One of the many weird photos that went viral after the Sydney ODI
One of the many weird photos that went viral after the Sydney ODI

There's even a band of cricket-crazy teenagers that you know who've been affected. On their agenda, for a long summer vacation, is cricket, cricket and more cricket. They're crowding together somewhere in a school in the south of India, exulting in the joy of almost graduating school.

Of course, that was before CBSE decided to postpone their remaining exams. Perhaps they should've known from the few N95 masks that pockmarked their exam centers, that have now sent their two-month holiday into jeopardy. Screw you CBSE and JEE, you can hear them saying.

Every second on social media is making it worse. And it's a double-edged sword, because it's either Netflix or Twitter when there's no cricket. Kane Richardson, Alex Hales, Lockie Ferguson and the entire New Zealand squad that toured Australia in 100% retro style are getting quarantined for 14 days.

Rumors spread that they've tested positive for this virus, but they're rubbishing it like people do to Donald Trump. Then, Australian cricket writer Geoff Melon, of The Final Word Cricket Podcast fame, throws out a tweet.

Lightening strikes twice. Time stops for a second. High tide picks up in the Arabian Sea. Clouds collect over your house. Your favourite cricket writer has tested positive for COVID-19.

"I did almost everything right. Worked at home. Saw one friend in the last 10 days. Had a beer for an hour outside a pub, either side of a big table. Fresh air, no contact. Washed my hands 3 times. Still caught corona from him. Do not f*** around with this thing," his tweet reads.

Among the replies are Andrew Fidel Fernando, Hugh Riminton and Zellie Imam, who all call the story 'scary'. If you haven't seen it yet, look it up now. Because you need to see it more than anyone else.

It's a real thing, folks. This coronavirus. Stay home if that's what it takes. Use the sanitizer 20 times a day if that's what is needed. Because cricket, despite being the heroine of our love triangle, does not matter now. It does not matter a bit.

Cricket and COVID have a 'C' in common, but that's about it. One is a life-saver, the other a serial-killer. If you thought this entire thing was a sham that does you nothing if you have good immunity, this one's for you.

Because you, or I, or the great Virat Kohli, could be its next victim. And that's the last thing we want.


If arguably the most powerful man in the cricket world can, can
If arguably the most powerful man in the cricket world can, can't you?

Do this for the sake of the windows next door. Do this for the sake of our love.

And like Geoff says, do not f*** around with this virus. Don't be cricket's coronavirus.

Published 24 Mar 2020, 03:37 IST
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