Your lockdown started a few days before everyone else's, didn't it?
It did. On March 7, my wife gave birth. Thank goodness it was on that day because the next day, the hospital decided that grandparents would not be allowed in to visit as a precaution, and now I see that not even fathers are allowed. So the baby was just in time. We've named him Mohammed Ibrahim. It was a name my wife liked and if we have another baby - but it's a big if, because for now one seems enough - then I will choose the name.
So we can assume you've been consumed by parenting while the world has changed?
Definitely. I was thinking I would be bored but we actually don't have enough time. We're not getting enough sleep. I didn't know it was this hard - it's non-stop. But I am enjoying it. And I actually feel a bit guilty knowing that I was going to be away so much. So the timing is perfect because I am here to experience the first bit of his life. So far I haven't changed a single nappy because I am too scared but I have been doing things like washing and preparing the bottles. At night my wife takes the hit, but then I do a lot during the day. It's been life-changing.
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The baby takes up 90% of the time and with the rest of it we are just doing the usual stuff: movies, reading - even though I have never been a big reader - doing stuff around the house, like sorting out the pool and playing games, especially Sequence. I came across it in the Caribbean about three years ago and then my whole family got into it.
Did you know that Dane Piedt has also been playing Sequence?
I saw that and I also saw that his wife says it's all about luck. That's not true. It's a lot of strategy, which is why it's right up my alley.
Are you going to call Dane and give him some tips?
It will be an expensive call, since he is going so far away [moving to the USA].
Not for a while, though, with the travel bans in place. Is he maybe the team-mate you would like to be quarantined with, and if not him, who?
I'll have to go with Dwaine Pretorius because he is always a good laugh. He doesn't have to do anything funny and he is still funny. And he is a bit of a beast in the gym, so maybe I could learn a few things.
How is your training routine going?
I've got a small gym at home with a treadmill, a bike, some weights, and a bench press, so there are things I can do. But it is frustrating that I can't go out and bowl because that's what I really like to do. I like to go down to the ground, on my own, with a few balls and do some bowling, try some things. But we can't do that now. I don't have the space at home for a net, so it's just about doing the fitness work and trying to keep myself ready to play.
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Have you been given a strict routine to stick to, especially after your involvement in CSA's conditioning camp earlier this year?
Not necessarily, but we all have programmes. That camp was more of an awareness thing, not a boot camp. I hadn't actually failed any of my running tests before that but it was just about getting ready for the big white-ball series that were coming up from February onwards against England, Australia and India. Before the camp, I was going to ask the Titans if I could do a bit more training with them to get ready but then the camp came and it was a blessing in disguise.
Are you using some of the time to work on your celebrations?
No, I haven't even thought about that. I sound like a boring old dad but I am also growing up and maturing. The more professional we become, the more pressure there is on us and the more we are concerned about not losing. I still don't want to lose the fun element and the celebrations are my way of enjoying the game, but maybe I'll just keep them for the T20 leagues.
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