The walls are closing in on cricketers in bubbles around the world, and Big Bash-bound West Indies captain Jason Holder says the new world isn’t sustainable.
Holder, who has just finished 14 days in quarantine in New Zealand ahead of a two-Test series there, has signed to play three games in December with the Sydney Sixers.
He’ll be able to take advantage of a travel bubble which means he doesn’t have to do quarantine in Sydney, a rare departure for the 29-year-old all-rounder in 2020.
Holder has enjoyed just six days at home since June, playing in England, the Caribbean Premier League and Indian Premier League before arriving in New Zealand.
Every tour has required staying and playing out of a bubble, and Holder said enough would be enough soon.
“I don‘t think I have spent this much time locked away in a hotel room in any time in my life,” Holder said from New Zealand on Tuesday.
“I’m not sure how much longer we can sustain moving around in these bubbles.
“It‘s been really tough being sat in the room seeing the same walls. Every time you leave and come back the room feels a bit smaller.
“You travel together but then can’t go into your mate’s room and play video games or something.
“We just need to find the balance where we’re doing what we can to stop the spread of the virus but still be looking after the players and their mental health.”
Before Holder got to New Zealand, members of the West Indies Test squad were banned from training and confined to their hotel rooms after breaching quarantine rules, a sign of the toll it can take.
✍️ SIGNING NEWS! We've signed West Indies captain Jason Holder!
Details > https://t.co/OFR48vOmTA#smashemsixers #BBL10 pic.twitter.com/9SqRebHs43
The opening of borders in Australia will allow players to be less restricted than first thought, which has come as welcome news to all players, including Holder, who is finally feeling some freedom.
“It’s happy days in New Zealand now, once you finish your quarantine,” he said.
“This is as normal I’ve had it since the outbreak of COVID.”
Holder is the second Caribbean signing for the Sixers, the reigning BBL champions, with Carlos Brathwaite already in Sydney and quarantining.
Brathwaite will be available for the full season, but Holder will squeeze in just the three matches.
“I’ve wanted to for a few years now and this year I have the opportunity to come in and make some appearances and hopefully do a bit for the Sixers,” he said.
“BBL cricket is an interest for me, and the Sixers have been successful over the past few years.”
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