Proteas captain Dean Elgar says it’s difficult for professional cricketers to spend so much time away from home while staying in bio-secure environments.
Elgar was speaking in the wake of Quinton de Kock’s shock retirement from Test cricket. The 29-year-old, who will continue to play white-ball cricket for the Proteas, said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
“People think it’s glamorous, and you live in massive houses, drive nice cars and get free clothing,” said Elgar of being a professional cricketer.
“That is part of it, but the flip side is that it’s extremely demanding on personal lives. If you’re in a relationship, it becomes extremely difficult because you’re spending a lot of time away from home.
“As it is now, if you play white-ball cricket, you’re away from home for two months playing in the IPL and that’s all you do.
“If you play Tests, that’s potentially six to eight months away from home in a year. So, I can understand the toll of it on yourself, especially now that we live in these bubbles.
“The people that construct our bubbles are trying their utmost to make it a lot more player-friendly now by giving us luxuries like living in a hotel with a golf course – a lot of guys like to play golf. That’s just one example of guys having a way out to clear their minds.
“Of late, it’s been a struggle for quite a lot of guys because of what’s happened around the world with Covid and putting guys into the bubble is not easy.
“We still love what we do, but it’s still tough on a few guys. Each personality deals with it in different ways, and we’ve got to respect those kinds of decisions,” added Elgar, referring to De Kock’s Test retirement.