As everyone struggles to adapt to the increasing threat of the Coronavirus outbreak, Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has asked the world to draw inspiration from the virtues of Test cricket to fight the pandemic.
In an exclusive interview with TOI, Tendulkar said teamwork is vital and respecting something that is difficult to comprehend is important during these trying times.
Globally, 176 countries have been affected, more than 8,900 people have died and over 200,000 infected by the deadly disease as it spreads rapidly to new territories.
"Cricket is a unique sport. Most sports compete against each other for fans’ attention, but cricket competes with ever-evolving versions of itself. There has been much debate about the relevance of Test Cricket in the fast-paced T20 world. While the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, this is probably the time for all of us to draw lessons from the grand old format of the game," Tendulkar quoted.
"Test cricket rewards you for respecting what you don’t understand. It makes you value the virtue of patience. When you don’t understand the pitch conditions or the bowler, defence comes the best form of attack.
"Patience is what we require now if we have to defend well. In my entire life as a professional cricketer and beyond, I never thought I would see anything like this. Cricket in India and globally has come to a complete standstill.
"To use a cricketing metaphor, while individual brilliance can help a team in shorter formats of the game, in Test cricket it is all about partnerships and teamwork.
"If a batter faces the easy overs and keeps letting the partners take on menacing bowlers, then he or she may score runs and remain unbeaten, but the innings will collapse. This is a valuable lesson for us to learn from.
"Everything else can wait. We need to not just look after ourselves but be responsible and considerate towards those around us too.
"Some of us may have higher immunity, but by not taking necessary precautions, we may end up being the vector and transmitting the virus to older people or those whose bodies may not have the resistance to the virus."
As Tendulkar pointed, the crisis has also hit the cricketing world. Almost all the series and tournaments have been either cancelled or rescheduled.
It remains to be seen if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be able to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 from April 15, given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The cash-rich event was rescheduled from March 29 to mid-April due to the epidemic last week.
As of Thursday (March 19), India has tested more than 160 positive cases for Coronavirus and recorded three deaths owing to the pandemic.