PCB to hire psychotherapist for players in New Zealand

The cricketers in the Pakistan squad are under a lot of mental stress due to their confinement

PCB to hire psychotherapist for players in New Zealand PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is scheduled to conduct online sessions with the Pakistan squad, which is currently under quarantine in New Zealand. The sessions will be conducted by psychotherapists and will be carried out in the current week to alleviate the mental stress on the players and support staff.

According to sources, a specialist in England was approached but since they are 13 hours before New Zealand, the time gap did not make it a viable option. Similarly, a local specialist would face language barriers.

The cricketers in the Pakistan squad, who are currently undergoing quarantine in their respective rooms, are under a lot of mental stress and have complained to the team management about this issue.

Many players have been confined to bio-bubbles since the series against England. They had to face different situations in the series against Zimbabwe, the domestic tournaments and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs. The players have not spent many days with their families either.

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The permission for training will be granted to the Pakistan squad after the third coronavirus tests are conducted on Monday. The players are very unhappy at receiving their food in boxes and being allowed only a handful of minutes to walk around.

The players believe that they are the ambassadors of Pakistan in New Zealand and did not expect such a harsh welcome. The players have complained that Pakistan treats touring sides as state guests, which involves the highest levels of security and comfort, whereas they have not been treated well so far on the tour. Meanwhile, the team management has asked players to fight through this period “for the country”.

The Pakistan side was supposed to begin training in groups, for the next 11 days, after three days of complete isolation which could not be possible after six players tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The isolation had to start anew because of the development. One more player tested positive in the second test which has further delayed the isolation period.

On the other hand, the seventh player that has contracted the novel coronavirus is a young pacer who has had the honor of representing Pakistan in all three formats of the sport. The pacer, after making a full recovery, will join the Shaheens’ side.

Another source claimed that Pakistan has not taken well to the threat of their national side being sent back to the country for further breaches in the SOPs. However, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has stated that they cannot argue with the government on the matter but they would try to curtail any harsh language. The Pakistan squad has been praised in the aftermath for their improved behaviour.

NZC has also stated that it will consider a tour of Pakistan next year which has further eased tensions between the two boards.

The PCB is also concerned about the impact the delay in training would have on the team’s performance, which is why they have approached their New Zealand counterparts with the request for the start of training for the side.