Important to have a psychologist on tours because players' mental health is taken for granted: Daren Sammy

Important to have a psychologist on tours because players’ mental health is taken for granted: Daren Sammy

Sammy also highlighted the importance of players and support staff to adhere to protocols in the bio-bubble, saying that it's a mark of respect to 'teammates and opponents'.

Daren Sammy
Daren Sammy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

International cricket might’ve resumed in several countries but the sport has undergone many changes. Considering the risk of COVID-19 transmission, social distancing on and off the field, empty stands and biosecure bubbles are now looked upon as the new normal.

Watching live sports amid the pandemic certainly helps people to relieve their stress. However, for sportspersons, it’s a tough task to adapt to the new normal. Biosecure bubbles, isolation periods and frequent COVID-19 tests can certainly take a toll on the mental health of professional athletes.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder had also spoken about the mental stress which their players went through during their England tour. After Holder, T20 World Cup-winning former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has said that every professional team must make it compulsory to have a psychologist on tour in such conditions.

In an interaction with India Today, Sammy weighed on the mental health of players. Sammy, who currently is in Trinidad and Tobago for Caribbean Premier League (CPL), said that a mental-health specialist among the support staff will be the right way forward.

My job as a captain is to keep the boys motivated: Daren Sammy

“Not only the captain, the role of the management staff. I think now it will be compulsory or very important for a psychologist on tour because mental health is something, as it is something we take for granted,” Daren Sammy said.

“If somebody talks about mental health, people, sometimes, say they are probably ‘weak’. Especially now, with this isolation in place, you have to consider the mental state of athletes. My job, as captain, is to keep the guys motivated and keep them in a good state of mind. I think people who specialise in these areas of mental health should be with every professional team, especially now,” he added.

Sammy also highlighted the importance of players and support staff to adhere to protocols in the bio-bubble, saying that it’s a mark of respect to ‘teammates and opponents’.

“The bubble is our safe haven and adhering to the safety protocols means showing respect to your teammates and opponents. Everyone should respect that it is for the safety of us all and do whatever we have to; to keep it secure,” Sammy said.

“It is important to have cricket but in the safest way possible. The fact that cricket is being played is a plus. The authorities are taking safety measures to ensure that we all play in a safe environment,” added the 36-year-old.