Cricket

Rahul Dravid reiterates importance of mental health at age-group level; says it is big challenge, needs to be handled by professionals

NCA director, India A and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid feels that mental health is a big challenge in cricket. Speaking to the reporters on sidelines of the fourth one-dayer between India U-19s and Afghanistan U-19s, Dravid said that there is a need of professionals to deal with this issue and some of the coaches - including him- may not be equipped with the skills to cope up with the challenge.

The one-month long camp, organised from 1-30 October, is being conducted at the NCA under the supervision of Rahul Dravid. AFP/File

File image of Rahul Dravid. AFP

"It is a big challenge. This is a tough game. There is so much competition, a lot of pressure, and kids are playing all year round now. It is a game in which you do sometimes spend a lot of time waiting around, having a lot of time to think," Dravid was quoted as saying on ESPNCricinfo, stressing how the mental health can be issue even at a young age.

The former India captain also said that he, as a NCA director, is looking to bring in professionals to deal with the issue.

"It’s important to maintain a certain level of balance in things you do. Living a slightly balanced life potentially helps you. We are also putting up a few things in place at the NCA, where we want to allow people to address some of these things and have people that they can speak to. Sometimes, some of these things need to be handled by professionals. So, yes, there has been some work on that as well, wherein eventually we'll get to a point where hopefully we should have professionals on board. I think sometimes some of these things need to be handled by professionals," Dravid said, as per Sportstar.

"I don't think some of the coaches, or some of us, have the ability to deal with some of the issues. Some things we might be able to, but there may be some things where we might need to look at professional help," he said.

In the recent past, many cricketers have taken short breaks to deal with their mental health issues including Australia's limited-overs mainstay Glenn Maxwell, who is currently on a sabbatical. India captain Virat Kohli had praised Maxwell's decision, calling it brave and remembering his own tough phase in 2014 when he came across the same problem.

Updated Date: November 29, 2019 13:02:24 IST

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