India skipper Virat Kohli on Monday said players should be consulted over the cricket calender as the extended bubble life during the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened fears of burnout.
With India headed into three one-day internationals against England starting on Tuesday after winning a gruelling test series 3-1 and Twenty20 series 3-2, Kohli said more attention must be paid to cricketers’ mental health.
“The players need to be spoken to and consulted with all round,” said Kohli.
“Otherwise, it’s going to be a case of whoever can last through difficult times like this plays. If not, then move away and someone else replaces that player.”
He added, “I don’t think that’s healthy for a cricket system and cricket culture moving forward which we definitely want to make stronger and stronger.”
Responding to suggestions that the 50-over games were out of place in a year dominated by the World Test Championship final and the T20 World Cup, Kohli said tournament scheduling “is something that is not in our control.”
“I think it’s very important to consider how much cricket you are playing. It’s not just the physical side of things but the mental side of things as well,” said Kohli.
“Scheduling and workloads is something that everyone will have to be very aware,” he added. “Especially in today’s day and age where you just don’t know where restrictions might come in.”
Most players have been in secure bubbles, with only small breaks since last August.
From September until January, India’s players went through the Indian Premier League and a tour of Australia.
‘UMPIRE’S CALL CREATING CONFUSION’
Kohli though stayed away from the debate of England’s rest and rotate pollicy in the pandemic, saying it was their “internal” matter.
But the Indian superstar slammed the “umpire’s call” in the game’s decision review system, saying it creates “confusion”.
The decision of an on-field umpire is critical when a batting or bowling side opts for a TV review during a leg before wicket call.
The batter escapes lbw even if the tracker shows the ball would have hit the stumps if a large part of the ball was not hitting the stumps and the on-field official had ruled it not out.
“The umpire’s call right now is creating lot of confusion,” said Kohli.
“When you get bowled as a batsman you don’t expect the ball to hit 50 per cent into the stumps to consider yourself bowled, so when the ball is being shown as clipping the stumps the bails are going to fall.”
Kohli, who last week suggested an “I don’t know” option for umpires in a catch review, said the game’s complexities must be done away with.
“It is a serious, serious thing that needs to be considered because there is lot at stake in the future, in big tournaments,” said Kohli.
“And you don’t want some grey area factors in the game, which leave you with no clarity, to be the defining factors of those big tournaments and big games.”