ECB to hire expert to monitor mental health of players

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is mulling to rope in a supervisor to monitor the mental health of English players, who have spent most time inside a bio-secure bubble since resumption of cricket amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

England became the first team to restart cricket in July after the coronavirus-induced break when they hosted the West Indies, Pakistan and Australia. Some of the national players then participated in the IPL in UAE before leaving for South Africa.

Earlier this month, ECB managing director Ashley Giles had said that cricketers will be provided “mental health screening” before they commit to any further tours.

“Ashley is in the process of appointing a mental health and wellbeing person across the team,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison was quoted as saying by Skysports.

“(It will be) different from the psychology and the clinical element, but actually looking at mental wellbeing as being part of our high-performance set-up as a permanent position. We want to be leaders in this space.”

Several players, including India skipper Virat Kohli and England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan had spoken about the need to take care of mental health of players as they tour abroad amid the pandemic. England is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for two Tests before heading to India for four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs in February-March next year.