Fans are the part and parcel of any sports. They add an extra energy, spice and emotion to the game. In a country, where Cricket occupies an exalted place, social media is fast becoming the bridge, connecting fans and the sportsman. Social Media, sometimes, takes the best out of a player and sometimes does exactly the opposite. So, let’s check some of the energetic, encouraging and unpleasant moments in a Cricketer’s life.
Useful sides of social media
1. With the help of the social platforms like Facebook, Instagram or twitter, we can quench our thirst of curiosity to know the activity of a player during the off season. What kind of works they do outside their field of game only can be brought to us by the online social connection.
2. Fans encourage players by tagging them in many occasions e.g. the best boundary, best wicket, firing fielding or whatever by uploading those knocks in the social media. This, in a way, can boost the moral power of players.
3. It can update us with some unknown Cricket incidents or quality batting, bowling or fielding from those who have not embedded themselves in this profession.
Frustrating social side
Just like the two different sides of a coin, those social media in a way can be a bit frustrating in Cricketer’s life. Indian opener Rohit Sharma has said that the nature of challenges in recent times were much more different comparing to the past. “In earlier times, fans used to read the newspapers or listen to the commentary. Now, they can tag players on social media” – Rohit Sharma highlighted during a Panel discussion in Mumbai.
The same event also found Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene speaking on the same thought. “when the team sheet is released prior to a game, my social media handles are spammed by comments from opinionated fans. If you dwell to much on it, it can affect your judgement.”
Social platforms can also dispute player relations. English star Kevin Peterson was found into a twitter spat with Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson. “it’s a waste of time to engage with people who are out there to discredit you.”
Although, social media will remain to be a part of the game. Some of the fans take lots of inspiration from their heroes and try to do the same. But all in all, there should be line drawn what you shouldn’t cross and affect the players life.
Mental Health : A Serious Issue
The most serious problem, of late, is the mental health issues of the players. To make it worse, players can’t be free minded in almost all the countries about the weakness.
“No body really says that, when I go to bat, the first 5 to 10 deliveries, my heart rate is elevated. I feel the pressure.” The world cup winning captain, Ms Dhoni pointed out. “I feel a bit scared because that’s how everybody feels – how to cope with that.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has also admitted that he himself faced those issues during his horrific run-of-form in the 2014 England test tour. “I have gone through a phase in my career where I felt like it was the end of the world.” The aggressive Indian batsman expressed. “In England 2014, I didn’t know what to do. What to say to anyone, how to speak, how to communicate.” He added.
Kohli is absolutely spot on his last line. Because mental health problems are not discussed with specific value, nobody really bothers about that either. And the discussion on the subject began when Australian all-rounder Gleen Maxwell took an indefinite break with mental struggles. All those are not because of hectic schedule, but may be for some personal or domestic disturbance. Even people hearing about Maxi’s issue, have thought of a early Maxwell retirement.
Maxwell paints it out perfectly:
In a interview in Cricbuzz with Harsha Bhogle, Maxwell talks about his mental stress, ” All the trevelling and trainning wore me down and I forgot who I was a person.” It’s also seen that people are not open minded to the problem ” I don’t think enough is spoken about the mental strain a cricketer undergoes.” Now, players need to take the matter seriously sooner than later. BCCI and the other Cricket boards need to organize a medical team or coaching staff for keeping them away from the mental stress. Otherwise it will ruin many careers.