India's Washington Sundar and Virat Kohli celebrate the dismissal of England's James Anderson during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
India's Washington Sundar and Virat Kohli Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: India skipper Virat Kohli said players should be consulted over the cricket calendar 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 T20 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.

“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 thing 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.