Coronavirus puts Behardien's county move on hold
JOHANNESBURG – Farhaan Behardien said goodbye to the Titans on Sunday, but his move to English County Durham is on hold, while the England and Wales Cricket Board decide what to do about the start of the County season in the UK.
Behardien signed a two year Kolpak deal with Durham, which he is due to take up when the County Championship starts on April 12. However the coronavirus pandemic is likely to lead to a postponement at the very least, leaving Behardien and others like him in limbo.
The ECB is set to hold a meeting on Thursday with counties and other stakeholders. “I was supposed to fly (to England) on the 25th (of March),” said Behardien. “I’m still awaiting news from Durham.”
“They are obviously, like us here in South Africa, adhering to government guidelines. I’ll know more in the coming days.”
The South African government has banned visitors from a number of countries including the UK and advised citizens against non-essential travel at the moment. “I’ve also talked to (Titans team) doctor and he’s also advised against travelling right now. So more than likely I’ll be in South Africa for the next little bit.”
“The situation might change in a couple of months to allow us to come back, maybe with stricter travelling controls, especially entering the UK. But I will await what Durham has to say. I have a two year contract, I’ve signed it, they’ve signed it, so it’s a legally binding document.”
In the meanwhile, all Behardien, who brought the curtain down on his 14 year stint with the Titans last Sunday, can do is try and stay fit, which is itself a challenge right now. “Gyms are out at the moment,” he chirped.
“I suppose I’ll have to make do with home gyms, do push-ups, sit-ups and squats at home and just run around the estate here. Obviously I’ve known about this for a while now, so unlike the last few weeks of the season, where I’ve known I’d have three months off and I’ve allowed myself to enjoy those, now it’s been different.
“The fact that I’ve had a Durham deal has meant I’ve kept myself nice and fit and strong... I’ve lasted the season nicely, there have been no real injury worries. I’ve kept myself fit and I suppose I’ll have to keep that up as long as I can.”
Meanwhile, Cricket SA’s chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said the Proteas players, who returned from India on Wednesday following the postponement of the team’s One-Day series there, will be following strict protocols while in self-isolation.
“We’ve recommended that all the players self-isolate and social distance themselves for a minimum of 14 days because that’s proper guidance to protect people around them, particularly people who could be vulnerable,” Manjra said.
“In that period, should any of those players have symptoms or any other factors that are a cause for concern, we’ll make sure they’re investigated appropriately and managed according to the protocols that currently exist.”@shockerhess