In a virtual promotional event for the Indian Premier League, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly addressed the concerns of mental health and restrictions imposed on players due to COVID-19. Highlighting the stringent regulations and the bio-bubbles in place, Ganguly admitted that playing cricket in a bio-bubble has completely changed everything.
“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,” the BCCI chief said.
Australia’s pull-out from South Africa tour
“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…,” he said. “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,” he said in reference to Australia’s pull-out. The last minute cancellation hit the Cricket South Africa (CSA), which was struggling with an economic crisis, and eventually sought ICC intervention.
Ganguly’s biggest set-back as a player
Shedding light on the biggest setback of his career, the former captain said, “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. A little bit of blip and it doesn’t stop people from scrutinizing you and that adds to athletes in a long way,” he added.
IPL 2021 amid COVID-19
IPL 2021 is set to commence on April 9, 2021. So far, three players have already pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons. Furthermore, several players including Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal and Axar Patel have contracted the infection recently.
Nevertheless, Ganguly had made it clear that the IPL will go ahead as per schedule since a last-minute shift will be a logistical nightmare. The BCCI has decided to test everyone in the bio-bubble on a daily basis and proceed with the event as per schedule.