‘I’m nowhere’ – Gareth Batty fears coronavirus might have ended career
Gareth Batty, one of six Surrey players currently in self-isolation, fears that his playing career might have ended, amid the coronavirus outbreak that is likely to postpone the upcoming county season.
Batty, 42, last played for Surrey in the 2019 T20 Blast, and was slated to retain his place for the 2020 season, having agreed to a 12-month deal last October. Now, amid shutdown of all mainstream cricket, the off-break bowler admits to feeling uncertain about what lies ahead.
“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months."https://t.co/qJnSU8f6tU
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 18, 2020
“It’s a very difficult time, obviously, for everybody out there, but certainly for professional sportspeople,” Batty told talkSport2. “We’re in a very unique position – your body is your currency, and if you can’t do the right things and put the good things into it, you feel like you’re just missing a trick.”
On Wednesday, ECB recommended all recreational cricket be suspended, a week after England’s Test series in Sri Lanka was called off. With the county season, originally scheduled to begin on April 12, likely to be postponed, Batty admits he might have played the last game of his first-class career, which began back in 1997.
Gareth Batty has signed a new deal at Surrey, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2020 season.
He made his first-class debut all the way back in 1997! pic.twitter.com/6tAFZJIWS6
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) October 14, 2019
“Most of the time, a player can go out and do something about it. They can go out and get fitter or practice more. Your career is in your hands. At this moment in time, it is not. It has been taken away. And rightly so.
“I might never play cricket again, thinking I’d signed a pro contract that I would still play. Let’s be honest, we’re not starting in April – we’re probably nearer with June or July. How do you go through that?
“I’ll be brutally honest, I’m nowhere, I don’t know what to do.”
However, Batty acknowledged that such provisions are the need of the hour by ECB, given the widespread impact caused by the coronavirus.
“We’ve all got to pull together,” he said. “The ECB will be under huge strain. Everybody within the cricket community, we’ve got to fund-raise and make sure that we look after our game. It means rolling sleeves up and painting the sight screens.”