For sports fans such as me, the past week has been anything but bearable. As almost everything coming to an unprecedented halt, the world of sports, too, suddenly stopped. Everywhere, all sporting events were cancelled or postponed. And with every news of postponement, came a huge gulf of disappointment for sports fans around the globe.
To top it off, even the Olympics is not happening this year. We have to wait one more year, as if four were not enough, for the single greatest sporting spectacle. Such is the scenario, Sports Illustrated, in their latest edition, used the photo of a barren, empty stadium as their cover.
Don’t get us wrong, we know it’s necessary to prevent the spread of a deadly virus that has already created a ruckus. But without sports, we are starved and we crave to know when will PV Sindhu, Sunil Chhetri and others return to action. How long until we can feast our eyes again? Only time will tell.
In China, football is inching towards a return to action. Although questions still remain, almost two months after the league’s intially scheduled kickoff date, the Chinese Super League teams have returned to training this week. In fact, a mid-to-late-April date has been touted for the country’s premier football league to return. Had former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini’s test not returned positive at the weekend, it could have started sooner.
Nevertheless, no matter the pause, the fact that players and coaching staff are back on the training pitch is giving hope to several across the globe. Maybe, sports can resume sooner than thought.
If India follow’s China’s timeline of events, sports can return as soon as mid-June. Of course, China has a larger population, a wider landscape, and the precautions and self-isolation initiatives have been implemented quite early here in India — so, chances are, maybe we won’t take as much time as China.
It gives us hope. But then again, as Tom Hardy’s Bane famously says in The Dark Knight Rises, “there is no true despair without hope.” And hence, we must not count our eggs before they hatch. It’s good to see that the Chinese football teams have returned on the pitch and hopefully, athletes around the world can soon follow suit.