Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cricket is being played in a bio-secure bubble with everybody associated with the series and tournament undergoing several checks for the virus.
Players and support staff are only shuffling between their team hotels and the cricket stadiums for outdoor practice sessions and games. Nobody is allowed to break the bubble and travel around due to the Coronavirus threat.
It certainly can be mentally challenging for players, but BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reckons Indians are “more tolerant” to deal with mental health issues than cricketers from countries like England, Australia and West Indies.
“I feel we Indians are a bit more tolerant than overseas (cricketers). I’ve played with a lot of Englishmen, Australians, West Indians, they just give up on mental health,” Ganguly said at a virtual promotional event on April 6, as quoted by PTI.
“In the last six-seven months, with so much cricket being going on in the bio-bubble it’s so tough. Just going from the hotel room to the ground, handle the pressure and come back to the room and then get back to the ground again, it’s an absolutely different life,” he added.
Ganguly also gave the example of the Australian cricket team, who recently pulled out of their tour to South Africa.
Australia were slated for a three-Test tour in March-April but decided to postpone it, citing “unacceptable” risk to the touring party amid the outbreak.
“Look at the Australian team, they were supposed to go to South Africa for a Test series after India played there. They refused to go there…
“And always there’s this scare of COVID. ‘Hope it’s not me the next time’. You have to stay positive, you have to train yourself mentally. All of us have to train ourselves mentally so that the good will happen. It boils down to training,” Ganguly said.
The former India skipper further recalled the biggest setback in his career when he was removed as captain in 2005 before being dropped from the team.
“You just have to deal with it. It’s the mindset that you get into. Life has no guarantees, be it in sport, business or whatever. You go through ups and downs. You just have to bite the bullet. Pressure is a huge thing in everybody’s life. All of us go through different pressures.
“When you play your first Test, it’s the pressure of making yourself established and making the world know that you belong at this level.
“And when you go to that level after playing many number of matches, it’s about keeping up the performances. A little bit of blip and it doesn’t stop people from scrutinising you and that adds to athletes in a long way,” he remarked.
(With PTI inputs)