The raging COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to limit ourselves within the confinements of our home, owing to lockdown and safety regulations across the world. While all the sporting events were canceled or delayed during the peak days of the pandemic, athletes haven’t even been able to get regular training. Such has been the case with the recently married South African duo of Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp, who have found innovative ways to practice while they’re under quarantine in their Adelaide hotel.
The Proteas duo is currently quarantined in Adelaide, and are waiting to fly to Sydney, once they complete the 2-week mandatory quarantine. This means that van Niekerk and Kapp won’t have access to gyms, training facilities, and swimming pool, during the quarantine period. This has forced the pair to find new ways to train indoors. One of these ways has been putting up a wall of pillows against the hotel door, and use it as a wicket for bowling practice.
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Speaking recently in The Scoop podcast, Kapp said, “Everyone thinks I’m crazy but that’s in our (training) program. The training has been good. Cricket-wise, we’re a bit worried because we don’t have a lot of days when we get out of quarantine (before the tournament starts). But running-wise, we have been working really hard.”
South Africa was one of the countries severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and had led to the national team canceling their tour to England and Australia. A mandatory 100-day lockdown was imposed in the African country, where residents weren’t even allowed to exercise outdoors. Along with this, a travel ban was imposed on all the national sporting teams from traveling abroad.
The extended periods of lockdown have kept family members and friends apart, with millions of people across the world forced to live alone for months at a stretch. However, the South African duo has been fortunate in being able to spend this time together.
Van Niekerk said in the same podcast, “I try and make a good thing out of a bad situation; there’s nothing I can do, I could roll around and cry like a baby, but they’re not going to let me out anyway. (Kapp) just gets a bit grumpy.”
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 14, 2020
As earlier announced by Cricket Australia, WBBL will be played entirely in a Sydney hub with the full 59-game season set to take place. The sixth season of this elite tournament kicks off on the 25th of October when all the eight teams facing off on an opening day. WBBL will see 8 cricketers from the African country, including the likes of Lizelle Lee (Melbourne Renegades), Mignon Du Preez (Melbourne Stars) and Laura Wolvaardt (Strikers), among others. The duo of van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp will don the pinks of Sydney Sixers.
I’m really proud, it’s a proud year for myself as the captain of the South African team to see all the hard work from our players coming to the forefront, and getting opportunities in the best league in the world,” van Niekerk said in conclusion.