The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Saturday sent all their contracted and age-level players a set of guidelines they should follow to stay mentally and physically fit while they remained indoors during the global coronavirus pandemic.
The board had earlier sent another set of guidelines focusing on the physical fitness of the players but the new nine-point guideline was sent to help them combat the mental pressure the pandemic was causing, said BCB medical unit chief Debashis Chowdhury.
‘We had sent a guideline about one week ago about the exercises they should do and the nutrition they should take while staying at home. Tonight [Saturday] we are sending another guideline about how they could take care of their mental health during this time,’ Debashis told New Age on Saturday.
The cricket world is seeing an unforeseen shutdown due to the virus outbreak, which has already either postponed or canceled every international and domestic competition around the world including Bangladesh.
The BCB has also indefinitely postponed all activities until further notice and advised all its cricketers to stay indoors to save themselves from the clutches of this deadly virus.
The uniqueness of the current situation meant the cricketers had to change their usual routine to keep fit in the changed circumstances, felt Debashis.
‘As this is a novel situation, the main point for the players is that they need to set a new routine. The old routine will not work now. Firstly, they have to fix their routine. Then we could manage them better,’ he said.
The COVID-19 virus, which has already claimed five lives in Bangladesh, has been proven to be more threatening to people with a weakened immune system.
The BCB has directed its players to partake in activities which would improve their immune system and also help them relieve their mental pressure.
‘Secondly, we need to make sure enough sleep. Because they can improve their immunity by ensuring enough sleep and nutrition. And by improving our immunity we can combat this virus.
‘Third is a mental relaxation technique, prayer or meditation. Doing any one of these things to maintain their spiritual health,’ he said.
The players were also urged not to rely on different social media outlets for information regarding the virus outbreak as the information available there was often misguided and not authentic.
The BCB advised the players to only follow the instructions provided by the World Health Organisation and Bangladesh government regarding the coronavirus issue.
‘They need to follow the WHO or the portals of the Bangladesh government for information. They should not follow social media for such information as it could make them panic.
‘There is no guaranty of the authenticity of the information available in social media. So, it is better to follow WHO or Bangladesh government portals,’ Debashis said.
The players were also encouraged to not spend too much time in front of a screen and do other indoor activities to spend their leisure time.
‘We are spending most of our time staring at mobiles or TV screens. The players need to reduce their streaming time. Instead, they could read books, do online courses, cook or do other such activities while also exercising every day,’ Debashis said.
BCB have sent these guidelines to all contracted cricketers, which included national cricketers, first-class players and under-19 players.
Debashis, who is under home quarantine since March 20 after arriving from Australia alongside cricketers Shadman Islam and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, confirmed that no Bangladeshi cricketer yet had contacted the board with coronavirus symptoms.
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