Countries in lockdown, international as well as domestic cricket shut down across the globe, the Coronavirus outbreak has been nature's way to remind us that at times sportsperson "take the game too seriously" and there are far bigger things to worry in life, reiterated premier India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
In India alone, the dangerous COVID-19 has infected as many as 500 people, claiming 11 lives, with the global death toll past 16,000. This, forcing the Indian government to announce an official 21-day lockdown starting Wednesday (March 25) given the grave circumstances.
"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."
"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, a great thinker of the game, hasn't had cricket on top of his mind these days, has been spending all the time with his family while doing other indoor activities, although by heart he misses being part of the contest.
"For a change, despite so much free time on hand, I haven't thought much about the game," he 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."
"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."
"If you go to practise, 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," Ashwin added.
The crisis has given Ashwin a new perspective about life and sport.
"There is a freshness to that, to be honest," he said. "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."
(Inputs from PTI)