As South Africa enters Day 12 of the mandatory 21-day lockdown imposed by government to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus, many South Africans are still trying to adapt to the new normal.
Protea Women opening batter, Lizelle Lee, is one such South African who has had to postpone not only her cricket plans but also her life plans.
April 2020 was meant to be a month of milestones for Lee. She celebrated her 28th birthday on 2 April and Friday the 10th was meant to be her wedding day. But those celebrations have inadvertently been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lee hopes the lockdown does not extend so that she can choose a new date for her wedding.
“When I had my birthday, my brother and his wife had a little baby. We didn’t get to see her, but that was an amazing present so I share a birthday with my little niece so I’m happy about and I don’t care about the lockdown. We were supposed to be finalising wedding plans, we were meant to be married on Friday, but hopefully this lockdown doesn’t get extended and we can get a date in the future.”
In the video below, SABC News looks at the effects of the virus on sports with Dr Phathokuhle Zondi.
Happy birthday to ?? opener Lizelle Lee!
Throwback to when she smashed a blistering 92 in the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup against India. pic.twitter.com/LpB5FKZ6Cn
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) April 2, 2020
The Proteas women’s team has grown from strength to strength over the past few years with Lee, an aggressive opener, as one of the senior members of the squad. She has scored two centuries and 18 half-centuries in 81 innings for South Africa in One Day International Cricket.
Lee says the team is in a good space.
“Look the team is in a good space and is doing really well. In previous years, the team has always lost wickets in clusters and things like that and now in each game, someone else is stepping up and I think that’s what management wanted for us for a long time. It is nice to see how the girls have improved and how their games have evolved. I have to give credit to the team because of what they do, I can focus on my own game and I’m happy that the team is where they are at now.”
The right-hander scored a run-a-ball 99 in one of the three-match ODIs against New Zealand in January where the Proteas’ recorded a clean sweep. Lee also clubbed her maiden T20 century from just 60 deliveries during the ICC’s Women’s T20 World Cup in February, where South Africa lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Australia.
“The win against England was a massive upset. That’s the game that gave us momentum. The whole world cup, Mingsie hitting a six there at the end it was an amazing feeling in the dug-out. And like you said DLS, doesn’t work for us you know. Anything can happen in a 20/20 game, but I wished the rain stayed away and it was a different result, but it didn’t happen like that at the end of the day women’s cricket is growing so that’s all that counts.”
If global sport had not been suspended, the Proteas Women would have just completed their in-coming tour against Australia’s Women. Over the last few weeks, Lee has been trying to keep fit and busy.
Cricket South Africa is not clear when normal business will resume in the country or in the world for that matter. For Lee and the rest of us, it’s a case of waiting to see how this pandemic unfolds.
In the video below, sports events are disrupted as COVID-19 wrecks havoc.