Indians are “more tolerant” to deal with mental health issues than cricketers from countries like England and Australia, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Tuesday as he acknowledged the challenge the strict bio-secure environments pose for the players. Ever since international cricket resumed, the players have been forced to stay in bio-bubbles, where their life is restricted to hotels and stadiums. They do not have access to people outside the bubble, making it extremely difficult for players to stay fresh and motivated.
“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,” the former India captain said at a virtual promotional event.
“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.”
Ganguly further cited the example of the Australia cricket team who pulled out of their tour to South Africa following their defeat to India.
Australia were slated for a three-Test tour in March-April but they pulled out citing an “unacceptable level of health and safety risk to players, support staff and the community”.
“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 stripped of his captaincy in 2005 and was eventually dropped but only to make a splendid return.
“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 added.
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