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ECB to hire expert to monitor players' mental health

December 29, 2020 19:35 IST
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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.

IMAGE: 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. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

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 Sky Sports.

"(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.

ICA president happy with BCCI's Rs 3 crore grant

Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) president Ashok Malhotra on Tuesday expressed satisfaction at the BCCI's decision to release an additional funding of Rs 3 crore to run the players' body and hoped their pending demands will be met "sooner than later".

Malhotra, who has been critical of BCCI in the past for not addressing their demands, was pleased that at least one of their requests -- increase in former players' medical insurance from Rs five to Rs 10 lakh -- have been approved.

"We are thankful to the BCCI and secretary Jay Shah for addressing our demands. We had asked for Rs 5 crore initially but had got Rs 2 crore. Now the rest of the amount has been released," Malhotra told PTI.

"Medical insurance cover has been doubled which we wanted. I am confident our other demands will be met sooner than later. I am also told that a committee has been formed to look into revision in players' pension," he said.

The demands, which have not been met yet, include pension for former players, who have played less than 25 first-class games, pension for widows of former cricketers and a benevolent fund to Manoj Prabhakar, whose BCCI ban ended in 2005 for match-fixing charges against him.

ICA, India's first ever players' association formed as per recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel, was granted Rs 2 crore by the BCCI in February to kickstart its operations.

The cricket board decided to release an additional Rs 3 crore to ICA at its AGM on December 24. However, it is expected to sustain itself in the long-run.

"We are fine if we get Rs one crore per year from the BCCI. By raising more than 70 lakh for the former players hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, we have shown we can generate funds through other channels," added Malhotra.

ICA's AGM was also held earlier this month.

Former New Zealand cricketer John F Reid passes away at 64

Former New Zealand cricketer John F Reid, who played a key role in Kiwis' success in the 1980s, has passed away in Christchurch at the age of 64.

The former Test batsman was responsible for establishing both New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) high-performance centre at Lincoln, and its underlying grassroots development programme.

In the 19 Tests he played, Reid scored 1296 runs at an average of 46.28, including six centuries; his highest coming in the blazing heat of Colombo in 1984, when he scored 180 in 685 minutes against Sri Lanka.

Reid, a cousin of Australian left-arm paceman Bruce Reid, was the fastest New Zealander to 1000 Test runs, taking just 20 innings.

Recognised as one of New Zealand's best players of spin, the left-hander scored all but one of his six centuries against sub-continental opposition, striking a purple patch in the away-and-home series against Pakistan in 1984-85, when he compiled consecutive scores of 106, 21, 97, 148, 3 and 158*.

"His passing is an enormous loss and our thoughts are with his family and close friends," said NZC chief executive David White in an official statement.

"Quite apart from anything else, John was the most lovely, engaging man who inspired all those around him, including generations of young men and women cricketers," he added.

Playing at a time when cricket in New Zealand was still amateur and when most home-based players had day jobs, Reid -- a high school geography teacher -- opted against going on the 1985 tour of the West Indies, instead choosing to devote his energy to his pupils.

He later stepped away from teaching to become the first chief executive of Auckland Cricket before returning to it in a different form -- turning his hand to coaching and high-performance development, and becoming a highly-respected mentor and administrator at NZC.

It was Reid who took on the role as New Zealand caretaker coach for the centenary season of 1994-95 after the controversy-ridden tour of South Africa in 1994, guiding the national side through a bumper summer that included visits from the West Indies, India, Australia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

And it was Reid who took on the role of White Ferns assistant coach in the 12 months leading up to the team's victorious World Cup campaign in 2000.

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