A sneak peek into South Africa’s T20 bio-bubble

Photo courtesy of Chillibibi from Pixabay.

The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged several countries since the last 18 months and as a result cricket like any other sport has been severely hit. However, thanks to the so-called bio-bubbles, we have had quite a lot of exciting action. Right now, the T20 World Cup 2021 is being played in the UAE from where cricket betting site Betway brings us a sneak peek into the South African bubble and how the players have been coping up in the last 12 months.

The journey has been described by three of the South African cricketers – Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, and Keshav Maharaj.

But what exactly is a bio-bubble? Defined as sanitised areas, bio-bubbles can be accessed by only a select set of people who test negative to Covid-19 virus. Some of the major sporting events that have adopted the bio-bubble strategy include the Indian Premier League, the NBA, the Olympics in Japan, and the US Open.

Photo courtesy of Chillibibi from Pixabay.

In the South African bubble, Rassie van Der Dussen, the 32-year-old top order batsman asked his wife Lara: “What are we watching?” and the verdict is “no, not too much at the moment. We’re in between series so you’ve caught me at a difficult time.” Now this is quite an embarrassing situation given that the pair had very little else to fill their downtime inside the bubble of the South African T20 team.

Van Der Dussen said: “I’m sure in the next few days I’ll put some time into thinking about it.

“It’ll be a series, we tend to fall asleep in front of movies.”

The gym area on the bottom floor of the South African T20 hotel also serves as a team room as well as a medical area.

According to Keshav Maharaj, the makeshift setup isn’t ideal, but the left-arm spinner said that he is also working to make the maximum of this unusual preparation.

Keshav Maharaj said: “It is what it is. There are a lot of differences so I work hard to make myself feel as at home as possible.

“I am a very clean and tidy person. I like neatness. There’s nothing worse than an untidy room and scruffy sheets. It really drives me mad.

“With no cleaners coming into the rooms I spend time making myself more comfortable by keeping my room in check.”

The South African T20 team’s dining area in the hotel room is cordoned off where they eat, have coffee, and watch sport.

The team has come to the UAE with wins in both Test and T20 series in the West Indies followed by T20 whitewashes against Ireland and Sri Lanka. These indicate that the players are benefitting from approaching a major tournament with an additional 12 months of development behind them.

Van Der Dussen said: “We’ve had a good year. We’ve been in different conditions and we’ve adapted really well.

“A year ago we were certainly less experienced. We’re in a good place now.”

In the last 12 months, the South African captaincy has also changed hands.

In March 2021, Temba Bavuma had taken over as South Africa’s T20 skipper and since then has delivered positive results.

Bavuma said: “There was plenty of initial anxiety and fear, I guess, as to how I could take the team to new heights, but actually I’ve really enjoyed it.

“I’m lucky that I’ve played with lots of the guys from school level so the understanding is there and the respect is there. I feel that they are behind me.”