Former India captain and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly acknowledged that life in bio-bubbles can be entirely different from normalcy, and it can have an impact on mental health of cricketers. Ganguly added that it's important to be mentally and physically prepared for the rigours of strict bio-bubble environments.
Ever since the resumption of sports in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes, coaching staff and other stakeholders have had to spend time in strict bio-bubbles as organisations have been on ensuring safe conduct of events.
Quite a few have spoken about the impact of being in bio-bubbles which limit access to the outside world. Cricketers have spoken about burn-outs and several have had breaks in between tours and tournaments to deal with the pressure of bio-bubbles.
Several India cricketers have been in bio-bubbles for more than 7 months and have had only limited breaks in between tours. India players spent more than 5 months on the road as they completed Indian Premier League 2020 and headed directly from the UAE to Australia.
Speaking at a virtual promotional event on Tuesday, Ganguly said Indians are more tolerant to the rigious of the bio-bubbles than overseas cricketers.
"I feel we Indians are a bit more tolerant than overseas (cricketers). I've played with a lot of Englishmen, Australians, West Indians, they just give up on mental health," Ganguly said.
"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."
'You have to stay positive'
Meanwhile, Ganguly cited the example of the Australia cricket team who pulled out of their tour to South Africa following their defeat to India at home.
Australia were slated for a three-Test tour in March-April but they pulled out citing an "unacceptable level of health and safety risk to players, support staff and the community".
"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...
"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 only good will happen. It boils down to training," Ganguly said.
IPL 2021 will be played in strict bio-bubble environments across 6 cities in India as the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to host the tournament at home despite the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country. The Indian cricket board has come up with SOPs that the teams must strictly adhere to in the time of crisis.