SYDNEY (Reuters) - Prolonged stay in bio-secure bubbles is not a “sustainable lifestyle” and is bound to take toll on a cricketer’s body and mind, Australia quick Mitchell Starc said on Monday.
Playing in bubbles has become the new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted cricket in March and Starc joined a growing list of players questioning the viability of these arrangements.
“It’s not a sustainable lifestyle,” Starc was quoted as saying by a Cricket Australia website after he signed for the Sydney Sixers to play the back-end of the Big Bash League.
“You’re living in a hotel room with zero outside contact. Some guys haven’t seen families or their kids for a long time...
“It’s tough going – we get to play cricket, (so) we can’t complain too much – but in terms of wellbeing of players, staff and officials, how long can you stay in hubs for?”
India captain Virat Kohli said on Friday the mental toll that comes with spending long periods in bio-secure bubbles should be taken into account when determining the length of future tours.
Several of Starc’s Australia team mates would return from IPL this month and enter another bubble for their blockbuster home series against India.
While they were unlikely to be “too unhappy coming home with bags of cash”, Starc had no regrets having skipped the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
“When you’re stuck in situations like that, month after month, going from bubble to bubble... it can be quite tiresome on the mind and body as well,” said Starc.
“Not having that escape from day-to-day cricket ... is (difficult). That’s important for people’s wellbeing.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Christian Radnedge
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