Staying home during a national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is like “nirvana” for cricketers, as they generally have to live out of a suitcase, Australia head coach Justin Langer said yesterday.
Australian cricket is in its off-season and has been largely insulated from the effects of the outbreak, which has suspended all of the country’s major sporting competitions that run during the autumn and winter.
Some Australian players are signed with teams in the Indian Premier League, but the lucrative Twenty20 tournament has been postponed at least until the middle of next month and might end up being scrapped like many other tournaments that have succumbed to the pandemic.
“The truth is for me personally and for all the players, this is like nirvana in the fact we’re home with our families, we sleep in our own beds, we eat home-cooked dinners and we can still work in one degree or another from home,” Langer told reporters.
Government containment measures to shut down virtually all nonessential businesses have already affected the economy, with thousands of workers laid off or furloughed without pay.
Langer said that the effects of the virus had hit close to home.
“I’ve got four daughters at home and three of them have lost their jobs,” he said. “It’s a great eye-opener to me, how careful we have to be. Talk about being prepared for rainy days.”
“This is certainly more than a rainy day. Whether it’s a footy club or my daughters all losing their jobs... I have great empathy for so many people going through this tough time.”
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