Sports

There are a lot of battles we fight within ourselves; when you are playing at the highest level, there is constant pressure of performance: Krunal Pandya | Cricket News – Eagles Vine

Just how difficult is it to be an athlete in these unprecedented times? The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in multiple ways and one of the things athletes have to adjust to now is life inside very strict bio-bubbles.
As a travelling athlete, life was already tough. Staying away from family, sometimes for months on end, living pretty much out of suitcases in hotel rooms, while having to stay completely focused on the job at hand. Not allowing your focus to waver at all. After all international sport can be an unforgiving entity. And now the bio-bubbles have made that life tougher.
There is the glitz and glamour of being an international sportsperson, but keeping yourself focused, while at times not even being allowed to leave your hotel rooms can take a toll on mental health. It can happen to anyone.
Cricketers do get to travel with their families from time to time, depending on the duration of travel, destination, arrangements etc. But the challenges are manifold. From the outside, perhaps not too many are evident to a lot of people. From the inside, the story can be different.
The Pandya brothers, Krunal and Hardik were the guests on episode one of Eagles Vine’s brand new sports podcast ‘Sportscast’ recently and talked about the pressures of being a cricketer in these unprecedented times.
“It is difficult. When you are playing at the highest level, there is also the constant pressure of performance as well. When you are playing at the highest level, when you’re playing for your country, when you’re playing for your franchise team, the pressure of performance is always there. Whether you do well or whether you don’t do well.
We are going through this stuff (Covid situation) and there’s this bio bubble as well. So it’s mentally challenging.” Krunal told TOI Sportscast.
Mental health and the psychological aspect of the pressure that sports persons have to deal with is not something that is openly discussed very often. When an athlete talks about his or her own personal experiences and struggles, it becomes a talking point for a while. When Glenn Maxwell spoke about the abrupt break he took in late 2019, due to his struggle with mental health, it made headlines across the world.
The pressure of continuing to perform at a certain level that Krunal talks about is very real. And when a cricketer or any other athlete is in a restricted bio-bubble, his or her form at that time then automatically becomes even more crucial.
“I have been in both situations. When you are doing well, it’s fine, because you are in a bubble to do a certain thing and that thing is going well, in terms of your cricket. But, at the same time when things are not going your way and you are limited to that bubble, it takes a toll. It is difficult and every individual has their own way of dealing with those situations. But it is difficult. Sometimes, yes, we see that staying in a 5 star hotel, playing, coming on TV, but at the same time there is a lot of hard work (that goes in) behind it. There are a lot of battles we fight within ourselves.” Krunal told TOI Sportscast.
So what keeps players motivated in these bubbles? What is the biggest driving force that keeps them going, apart from of course the support of family members who may have travelled with them and are also in these bubbles?
“The one thing that always motivated us (while being in strict bio-bubbles) was that we were able to play cricket. We were able to bring smiles to so many faces. As cricketers when we are playing IPL for instance, when we used to play our game, obviously we were busy. But when we don’t have the game (not playing), we actually look forward to watching a game. For people it brought so much happiness. When the IPL is over, lots of people don’t know what to watch. (People say) 7 baje ka to adat ho gaya, ab kya karein? (we have got used to watching the IPL at 7 pm, now what do we watch?). We feel the same. The funny part is we feel the same. IPL khatam hota hai to lagta hai 7 baje kuch ayega nahin (when the IPL is over we feel like there’s nothing to do when it’s 7pm).” Hardik Pandya told TOI Sportscast.
The full podcast episode with the Pandya brothers is now live in the podcast section of timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Listen to the full podcast with the Pandya brothers here:

You can also catch Eagles Vine Sportscast on multiple podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple podcast, Amazon Music, Gaana.com, JioSaavn and others.


timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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