BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
ZIMBABWE cricket star Ryan Burl has revealed that he had to start a pyjama selling business in order to manage the pressure and stress brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown that have disrupted sporting activities in the last year.
The country has had to suspend all sporting activities twice so far since the novel coronavirus arrived on these shores a little under a year ago.
Last year there was a total lockdown that affected a lot of big sporting events, fixtures and tours. Local cricketers were also not spared as athletes had to find ways to endure the period of inactivity for at least five months.
And in an interview with Australian journalist Kaleb Bland on his YouTube channel The Domestic Cricket Podcast, local cricketer Burl revealed that he started a business to sell pyjamas during the difficult period.
“I think the one thing that helped me manage to keep sane was I did start a pyjama business during lockdown and it’s really good. It has kept me busy and it has kept my mind going and it’s nice for us to have another income to keep things going. I am very fortunate,” the 26-year-old left-handed batsman said.
This was after he was asked how he has managed to cope with the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic especially during the lockdowns.
“We have a shop and we kind of import the goods mainly from South Africa, a few things from the UK and a few things from China. It’s something you wouldn’t really associate with a cricketer, selling pyjamas, but it’s been very fun.
“I got to learn about all the different garments, the materials and stuff like that. It’s been good, it’s been very busy and very successful. You never know, but let’s wait and see what can happen with this project,” he said.
Burl has represented Zimbabwe in one Test match, 18 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 19 T20Is is largely as a batsman, but can be an effective leg spinner as well.
In actual fact Burl boasts of seven and 11 wickets in ODIs and T20s respectively.
Born and bred in Marondera, Burl is a product of Peterhouse School and has played for a number of local teams including Mashonaland Eagles, Midwest Rhinos and Rising Stars.
He credits his grandfather for teaching him the game at a tender age.
“I started cricket when I was three years old. My grandfather (Basil Petersen) is actually the one who taught me to play cricket. I spent a lot of time with him and he taught me all the tricks. “He used to coach the junior national team teams back in Rhodesia days,” Burl revealed.
Burl also reflected on his ODI debut against Afghanistan in February 2017, which he said was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Zimbabwe lost the series, which the country hosted 3–2 and Burl feels he was the reason the team lost the limited-overs contest.
“I hated my debut match. I think we ended up losing by a few runs and I feel I am the reason for it to be honest. We fielded very well I think we restricted Bangladesh to about 220. It was one of those rain-affected matches and you lose a couple of wickets and all of a sudden you are behind on the Duckworth and lewis (DL) method.
“Craig (Ervine) and I did very well and we got ahead in the DL method by six or seven runs and then I lost my wicket. And the very next ball we got called off for rain and we were now behind in the DL method and lost the match. We ultimately ended up losing the series 3-2. One of those things which is memorable, but one of those things I don’t want to remember too well,” he said.
Burl made his ODI debut in the first of the five-match series and Zimbabwe lost by 12 runs via the DL method on the day.
He is currently part of the Zimbabwe squad preparing for the upcoming series against Afghanistan to be played in the United Arab Emirates.