“virus hit me quite hard”: South African Captain Klassen


Covid-19 has killed more than  million people worldwid and more than two millions are affected. South African superstar batsman Heinrich Klaasen is one of them. He is 29, athletic and clearly in fit body. And that didn’t spare him some of the diseases’ more serious effects after he tested positive on December 3.

It was a difficult two months,” Klaasen told an  press conference in Lahore on Tuesday. “The first 16 or 17 days, I couldn’t do really much. I was very ill. The problem came with the fact that I couldn’t start exercising. Or I could start exercising again, but I couldn’t run 20 or 30 metres, or do anything for two or three minutes without day my heart rate goin g up too high.

There are protocols that one has to follow to be able to rebuild your workload, but I could not stick to that programme. It is a very simple programme where you exercise for 10 or 15 minutes a day. It took me a long time to just get my heart rate under control so that I could exercise at least a little bit without getting past the phase where it is too dangerous. I could do nothing. But  I’m on track, I’m fit and I’m safe, and I can at least play cricket.”

He is in Pakistan to captain South Africa in three T20Is in Lahore, the first one will start today. Because of anti-virus measures, only four members of the squad that lost the Test series 2-0 on Monday will stay on for the T20Is. 

A complication is that he hasn’t played since the second T20I against England in Paarl on November 29. “It’s difficult to tell you how my form is,Klaasen said. “We’ll probably see after these three games, but I’m hitting the ball very nicely.”

But he sounded like a captain while he was defending his squad against the allegation that they may not be of the required quality. Klaasen was not hospitalised during his struggle with the virus, and he has been able to return to something like normal life. 

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