For pretty much everyone in the world right now, COVID is affecting us in some way. Restrictions are being eased in parts of the country which means we are able to get out and train more and more. I am seeing more kids out training and getting back to the normality of things, which is great. One question I do ask myself constantly is “How is this cricket season going to pan out?”
The honest answer is, no one really knows. We can all speculate, offer advice and solutions to how we are going to play cricket this year but the reality is, all we can do is take this current situation one day at a time. Last night was a pretty significant event with the release of the international schedule and there was soo much speculation about the potential Indian Series and the T20 World Cup happening later this year. For an avid cricket fan, it was great to see dates put in for both events, but it means very little at the end of the day because we don’t actually know how all of the new rules and regulations are going to affect the game and we don’t actually know if COVID will come back, and so on.
I try and encourage students in my academy to focus on the now, focus on what we can control, focus on this very moment. Because when you don’t, when you worry about that ball that has been bowled or you worry about that dropped catch, your focus is not on what is the most important thing at that very moment, ‘the next ball’. I used to play cricket with Mike Hussey and he used to say all the time to me, “Next ball Ritz, next ball Ritz”. Now if one of the best players in the world is telling me that, I am going to listen!!
We are all going to be faced with various challenges this cricket season. Whether it’s at training, in the nets or in the middle, there are going to be so many things going on in our game. There are going to be moments when games and tournaments could be cancelled because of COVID. There are going to be moments when you take a wicket and your teammates can’t get around you because of the new COVID rules, this is going to be uncharted territory. So my challenge to you is this, its very simple. Focus on that next ball. Focus on that next throw down. Focus on that next ball you are bowling. Don’t worry about anything else but that next ball. Just remember what Mr Cricket used to say to me “Next ball Ritz, next ball”.