India women cricket team‘s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to appoint a psychologist for the team. Also Read - India vs England 2021: Crowds Won't be Allowed Inside Stadium For First Two Tests in Chennai
Kaur’s request has gained context following the sudden retirement of England wicketkeeper-batswoman Sarah Taylor, citing anxiety. Also Read - IND vs AUS: Cricket Australia Writes Open Letter to BCCI, Says 'Will Never Forget The Sacrifices' | Read Full Letter
“We are working on that (the mental aspect of the players),” Kaur was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express on Saturday. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Kevin Pietersen Warns India in Hindi Ahead of England Series, Cheeky Tweet Goes Viral
“We have requested the BCCI for someone like a sports psychologist, who can travel with us. We have spoken to coach as well. Nowadays, the pressure is high. You need someone to discuss things when they are not fine,” she added.
While the Indian skipper highlighted that she has her father with whom she can share everything, she said there is no certainty whether everyone in the team has someone with whom they can share their thoughts or fall back on when in need of a support.
“You never know who can help you perform and give you some sort of direction. I have my dad with whom I can share anything. We have that bonding where we don’t need to talk every day but if there is something bothering me, he helps me sort things out. We don’t know if everybody in the team has that someone.”
“To find a good consultant is not an easy job. It’s not like you can bring in anyone. You need someone who you can trust and give us confidence that the person is going to be helpful. Hopefully, we will get someone soon because I feel it is a necessity.”
In addition to Taylor, who announced her retirement from the game at the age of 30, Australian women cricket team opener Nicole Bolton had also discussed about her battle with mental health.
“It is a good decision for them. Taking a break is vital. People may judge them, thinking they are mentally weak and that’s why they are on a break. But you need guts to come up and say ‘I am not well’ and ‘I need a break’. I’m sure they are strong and that’s why they have taken that decision,” said Kaur.
“In the end, your life is important. I know only one thing: sports. If I don’t enjoy it, what is the point of playing cricket?” concluded Kaur.