In order to ensure the mental well-being of their players, the Bangladesh Cricket Board might have to appoint a psychologist, according to their chief physician Debashish Chowdhury.
West Indies, who are touring Bangladesh next month, will have a psychologist as a part of the team management to ensure their cricketers receive mental support if required. Their Test skipper Jason Holder had recently stressed on the adverse effects of being confined in a bubble whereas England’s Tom Banton and Tom Curran both withdrew from Australia’s Big Bash League after citing bubble fatigue recently.
Even the Bangladeshi cricketers have been feeling the toll of the bubble despite not playing international cricket. Most of them have spent a considerable amount of time in the bubble since September even though the board did give the players occasional breaks. Bangladesh pace bowler Al Amin Hossain, who was part of the bio-bubble since the very beginning told to media that it is not easy to perform under the bio-bubble.
“It is difficult to perform in the bio bubble because you don’t have anywhere to go to release your stress unlike the past,” he said. “How long can you spend your time just by playing carrom or table tennis while staying in the bubble and it can be quite stressful.”
Even though the BCB is yet to include a psychologist as a part of the team management, Debashish has admitted that the need is likely to arise soon. “It has been many days since the players of the West Indies left their homes and we need to get used to it as long as we are safe,” he told Cricbuzz. “When the ICC briefed at that time, they said that it is not Covid-management, rather this is human management. Certainly it affects the cricketers psychologically. As a result, with many teams, psychologists are also going to the biosecurity zone.
“Well, we do not have any such plans (of including a psychologist in the set-up) but if there are continuous tours, we would also have to hire a psychologist. Like after this tournament, they will get a break but if the New Zealand tour was scheduled without any substantial break after the home series against West Indies than we would have to think differently.”
Even though Debashish sounded confident of the BCB successfully setting up a bio bubble for the West Indies series, he also pointed out the need to reduce the personnel. “We need to reduce people,” he noted. “For example, the security department, the logistics department, the medical department – we are recruiting the workforce as we did before Covid to do the work systematically. But the problem is if we do not reduce the force, then we cannot control it. The more people, the more problems there will be.
“If we can make two people work in place of five people, then our problem will be curtailed. Personally, this looks like a big challenge. There are things that we cannot reduce. But in many cases, if we want, we can. Yes, the workload of many people will increase, but at the same time, the security will also be strengthened.”
Debashish added that he was confident of having the injured Test trio – Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam and Abu Jayed Rahi – fit before the Test series against West Indies. Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul and off-spinner Nayeem Hasan went under the knife for their respective injuries that ruled them out of the just concluded Bangabandhu T20 Cup while pacer Jayed sustained back strain and had to quit the competition at the halfway mark.
“In the last two weeks, two of our cricketers have had surgery,” he said. “One is our Test Captain Mominul Haque who underwent surgery for a thumb injury in Dubai, and another player was Naim, whose finger was injured. The medical team of BCB is working to see the two players getting fully fit before the warm-up match that will take place ahead of the West Indies Tests,” he said.
“Rahi (Jayed) was suffering from grade one strain. We also reviewed his problem yesterday. We hope Rahi will get back to full bowling fitness in the next two weeks. He will be fully fit in the first week of January,” he further added.
West Indies are due to arrive on January 10 to play three one-day Internationals and two Tests.