WTC Final: Sports and athletes, and even fans, are still trying to attune to this unprecedented time when bio-bubbles and social distancing have become a norm after Covid-19 gripped the whole world. The matches are being played inside the empty stadiums, and players are spending a lot more time away from the family and friends. The utter secluded life of athletes inside the bio-bubble takes a huge toll on players mind.
During a pre-departure press conference ahead of IND vs NZ WTC Final, Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli opined that considering the times we are living in at the moment, and the bio-bubble life, draining players mentally and physically, teams with two squads could become a normal thing in the near future.
“With the current structure and the kind of structure that you’re competing inside for a long period of time, it’s very difficult for the players to stay motivated and find the right kind of mental space,” said Kohli.
“You know just confined in one area and just doing the stuff day in day out when you’re dealing with high-pressure situations. So, this (two squads) will definitely become a norm for the future,” he added.
The Indian cricket team was in a 14-day mandatory quarantine ahead of the WTC final and will have to follow UK quarantine rules as well upon touching in England.
Virat Kohli also touched on the ever-going subject of the mental health of players and how challenging it is to endure the bubble life.
“Apart from the workloads, the mental health side of things will also come into the picture big time because you don’t have an outlet at all,” said Kohli.
“In today’s day and age, you literally go into the ground, come back to the room, and you have no space where you can just disconnect from the game and just go out for a walk or go out for a meal or a coffee and say, Okay, Let me refresh myself.”
“Let me just get away from the game a little bit so I think this is a huge factor that should not be neglected. Because as much hard work as we’ve done to create this team, you don’t want players falling out because of the mental pressures and not having the capacity or the space to express themselves.”
India and New Zealand are set to run into each other for the all-important WTC fina match. This is a one-off game where the winner will be crowned the world champion. But Ravi Shastri suggested that a best-of-three final could be the best way forward in near future.
“In the long run, a best of three final will be ideal as a culmination of two and a half years of cricket around the globe. But we have to finish it as quickly as possible because of the FTP that will start all over again. So one-off is a one-off. The guys have earned their rights. This wasn’t built overnight. When you start being on top you have the ability to pull yourself on top,” said Shastri.
“It’s the first WTC final and looking at the magnitude of the game, it’s going to be the biggest,” Shastri added.