Cricket-Wider interests can help players cope better with shutdown-mental coach

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Cricketers who have interests beyond the sport are likely to cope better with the shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, said mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton. Professional cricket, like most other sports, has come to a grinding halt in the wake of the global health crisis which has also forced lockdowns in several places. “A significant change in the status quo is stressful for most people,” South African Upton, who worked with the 2011 World Cup winning India team, told the Times of India newspaper. “For athletes, there would be a range of experiences, from welcome relief for the established to anxiety and insecurity, both professionally and financially, for possibly a greater number. “The athletes who had interests outside of cricket, and which they can still pursue, will be coping better than those who have made sport the sole focus and purpose of their lives.” Upton has also worked with the Pune, Rajasthan and Delhi franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He felt fringe players would be particularly disappointed with the uncertainty around this year’s edition, which has been put back to April 15 with another postponement seemingly inevitable. “Fringe players and those at the early stages of their career, especially those who have very recently broken through to the next level, would naturally be feeling this break very disruptive. “Naturally IPL is a huge highlight on the calendar for many cricketers, and a cash cow,” he added.

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