Dubai: While there is no end to speculation if the Indian Premier League 2020 will eventually get a window, the domestic cricket season in India for 2020-21 has not been brought up under discussion so far. This leaves hundreds of first class cricketers in the country, including fringe players who have done donned the Indian colours off and on, on the edge for quite sometime now.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), in an effort to boost the morale of the senior Bengal team players, organised a webinar on Thursday - and the results were there to show. An informal discussion, conducted almost in the spirit of an ‘adda’ (Bengali term for a tete-e-tete), had the coaches and players of the Ranji Trophy runners-up last season dwelling on what worked for them last season, where they needed to improve - both physically and mentally during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reflecting on the discussion, Manoj Tiwari, former Bengal skipper and international said such discussions are a must in the current environment. ‘‘I think these type of sessions should be done more frequently and I suggested the same also. This will help the players speak out, get in touch with the colleagues more and decrease the chances of depression, anxiety among them.
It’s not easy for the players. They are locked at home for a long time, things are uncertain and it’s very easy to get tired, monotonous and even bored during this tough time. So this was about getting together, a feeling of camaraderie.
‘‘This gives the players a chance to open up to each other more. We spoke about the mental condition especially. I also told them to make sure you become a better human being with each day as it gives us positivity,’’ said Tiwari, who has played 12 ODIs and three T20Is for the Men in Blue.
Arun Lal, former Indian opener during the Eighties and a cancer survivor, had been an inspirational figure as the team’s head coach for the last two seasons. Speaking about his experience of joining the webinar, Lal said: ‘‘It’s not easy for the players. They are locked at home for a long time, things are uncertain and it’s very easy to get tired, monotonous and even bored during this tough time. So this was about getting together, a feeling of camaraderie. It was a very good session and we are planning to do the same kind of session once almost every week.’’
Explaining the rationale behind hosting the 75-minute long webinar, Abhishek Dalmiya, the CAB president said: ‘‘Since the players are not being able to meet each other and get onto ground training and practice, a webinar was organised, mainly to keep up the team bonding and team spirit, see the successes of last season and what can be individually done next season to improve further.’’