Mishab-ul-Haq, who recently let go of Pakistan’s Chief selector post, has revealed that the Covid-19 induced restrictions helped the Pakistan team in strengthening their communication and bond. He added that western players are more prone to mental health issues due to the restrictions.
Cricket was finally able to make a comeback after a few months-long break induced by the pandemic subject to various rules and restrictions, which are anything but flexible. Although these restrictions are necessary for everyone’s health, this has also started a huge debate regarding the mental health of players, which might be affected due to the strict restrictions and isolation that players have to adhere to in order to keep playing cricket in these Covid-19 times.
Pakistan head coach and former captain Misbah-ul-Haq reckoned that players from western countries are more likely to be hit by mental health issues if cricket is continued to be played in a strict bio-secure environment as opposed to sub-continent players, who are mentally tough.
"Yes it is an issue about players and team officials facing mental health issues if cricket continues to be played like it is being held right now. As far as Pakistan is concerned I think our players due to their social environment are mentally very strong so they can get through this period,” Misbah said in an interview to the Cricket Baaz channel on YouTube.
"But yes I believe in the long run, players and officials from western countries could be facing more such problems because their culture is different from ours. Staying indoors all the time, the movement being restricted and not being able to go out with freedom do take a toll on the players and even officials."
Pakistan themselves played in a bio-bubble created for their England tour in August. Misbah revealed that these tough times have helped Pakistan to strengthen the communication and bonding in the team.
"I think it was good for us because communication improved between management and players, the players were supporting each other a lot, and generally the bonding in the team improved a lot."
He also made it clear that while he had decided to step down as chief selector for a number of reasons, he had every intention of completing his three-year tenure as head coach.
"I have completed one year in the job and there are a lot of things to be positive about. I want to now totally focus on coaching,” he added.
Pakistan will next take on Zimbabwe in the home series starting from 30th October for the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi.