CAPE TOWN – Keshav Maharaj has not only had his County Championship contract terminated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Proteas left-arm spinner has also been forced to postpone his wedding.
Maharaj enjoyed a hugely successful season with Yorkshire in 2019, claiming 38 wickets in just five matches, and was due to return to Headingley this season. However, there was more important business to take care of before jetting off to Leeds with Maharaj set to wed his fiancé Lerisha Munsamy last Saturday, May 2.
The 30-year-old flamboyantly proposed at a plush seafood restaurant in Umhlanga last year and would currently have been on honeymoon right now.
However due to the lockdown restrictions imposed in South Africa at the moment, the couple are simply enjoying “cooking and watching Netflix” as they wait patiently in setting a new date.
“Obviously it was a tough decision (to postpone the wedding) in accepting the ramifications from Covid-19,” Maharaj said on Wednesday. “But it now just gives us some extra time to make the wedding more perfect than what it would have been.
“It also gives you more time to learn about your partner and as much as it was disappointing, it also gives you a ray of hope. Once the levels are reduced it will give us more perspective on dates and stuff. But for now we are very optimistic and looking forward to setting the new date.”
With no County Championship contract to look forward to and no wedding to plan just yet, what has Maharaj been keeping busy with during lockdown?
Marnus Labuschagne said he is “very disappointed” at not being able to follow-up on his phenomenal debut County Cricket season. The 25-year-old excelled with Glamorgan last season, scoring 1,114 County Championship runs in 18 innings at an averag…
“I have actually enjoyed the downtime. I am fortunate that I live with my fiance’. That makes life a bit easier. You have someone you can talk to and do activities with. I still manage to do some physical stuff, running up and down the driveway. I am trying to keep myself occupied throughout the day. There is also a lot of cooking, a lot of Netflix watching (laughs).
“But it hasn’t been too much of an issue for me. Unfortunately some stuff had to go on hold, but I have actually enjoyed the experience. Sometimes it is a bit tough to be consigned to one space and not go on date nights, but you make amends and you find ways of doing date night indoors.”
Maharaj believes the key to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and the frustrations that go with the lockdown restrictions imposed are similar to gaining success in Test cricket.
“I have learnt that I can be very patient which is something very surprising as it does not come naturally to me. I’ve also found out that I am a lot more determined than I used to be,” he said.
“I really do think that we have to respect the rules and regulations that are in place as frustrating as they may be, particularly in terms of being confined to your home and your supermarket for essentials.
We really need to reduce the infection rate in order to go back to ‘normal’. We always say you might not reap the rewards of hard work overnight, but it’s a process of reaping the rewards later on. I think a similar perspective is needed.”
By Zaahier Adams