The suspension of the 2020/21 season is a double edged sword for club cricketers all over the country.
This is according to a long-standing club cricketer and former SA schools batsman, Mujahid Behardien.
The former Primrose captain, who was to set to rejoin United for the 2020/21 season, says for safety reasons it makes perfect sense for club cricket to be suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time, the development of new cricketers who are supposed to make their way to the top divisions will take a huge knock.
Having made his name in the colours of United, Behardien, 29, went on to star with the bat with Primrose for a season and a half. He knows a lot about the importance of club cricket when it comes to development.
Even though he has shifted his focus of pursuing cricket as a career, he feels he still has a lot to offer on the pitch, by guiding a new generation.
He hopes the experience he has acquired in the game since his high school days will play a role in helping United’s young cricketers to make it to the big stage.
“As time goes it becomes difficult especially with family. I have two kids and that made my focus shift more away from the game because I can no longer pursuer it on full-time basis.
“We have a lot of exciting youngsters in the squad (United) and my goal is to help them with their development and help the team get back to the premier division where they used to compete for the longest time.
“But of course, now everything is at a standstill with and that presents some challenges for the young players still trying to get their names out there.
“There is no better space for development and to get experience but to be on the pitch, but safety has to come first.
“It’s difficult for guys wanting to make a career out of this game. But I’m sure once we come out of this lockdown the cricket structure will be in a better space especially with the new direction Cricket SA is taking to move from franchise to a first class system,” said Behardien.
In the previous season, Behardien served as a club captain and was playing a role in the selection of players, a position that seemed to heavy to bear for a man with a young family like him.
But having grown up in the game, it’s impossible to leave the game completely. He took a break towards the end of the 2019/20 season and rejoined United for what was to be the 2020/21 season.
He says he wants to have less responsibilities and only serve as player whose experience will hopefully rub on to the young blood of the squad.
During the 2019/20 season, Behardien’s Primrose finished third in the Western Province First Division A one-day log.
His new side, United, finished 7th, a position where he believes the club should never find itself in as they deserve to share the pitch with the big boys in the premier division, which is where he hoped to guide them before the pandemic struck and brought holding everything to a standstill.
Behardien says in his case the psychological side of the game took a toll on him and he hopes the up-and-coming cricketers can enjoy the game first and foremost before thinking too far ahead of where they can be.