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'It’s Not Ideal For Us Athletes To Be In Isolation Before Heading Into A Big Series' - Shikha Pandey

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India Women's fast-medium bowling all-rounder Shikha Pandey emphasized the need for players to work on their mental health especially while in hard quarantine and bio-bubbles on overseas tours like the one in England.

The Indian Women’s Cricket Team, along with their male counterparts have arrived in England and are now in quarantine before the start of the long tour. Veteran fast-medium bowling all-rounder, Shikha Pandey spoke about the challenges of staying in isolation just before the beginning of a huge series. She stressed the need for the players to focus on their mental health during these challenging times.

The Indian Women’s team kick off their England tour with a one-off Test starting at Bristol from the 16th of June. They then play three ODIs and as many T20Is with the tour finally ending on the 14th of July.

Pandey has represented India in two Tests, 52 ODIs and 50 T20Is. She has good returns from limited overs cricket with 73 wickets at an average of 21.06 in ODIs and an excellent economy rate of 6.39 in T20Is.

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In an interview with Sportskeeda, Pandey spoke about the struggles and challenges of being in quarantine just before the start of a big series.

“The way things are and the situation is prevailing outside of India, I would say it’s difficult to quarantine for 14 days, but then this is how life is going to go ahead going forward. It’s not ideal for us athletes to be isolation before heading into big series," quoted Pandey.

Pandey re-emphasized how important it was for athletes like her to train and be in constant touch with one another in the team which a hard quarantine does not allow.

“As professionals, we are used to being on the field, active, day in and day out. So, it is really very difficult to get going in isolation with respect to mental and physical well-being"

She added that it was big challenge for players to stay in isolation and that it had an adverse effect on their mental well-being. Pandey further stated that the players had to work as hard on their mental and emotional health as their physical training.

“Mental aspect is equally important as the physical aspect, it is very crucial more so with the quarantine, the bio bubble fatigue and this pandemic, otherwise it becomes difficult to free your mind. I consider myself very privileged as I get to do what I love, whereas there are so many others who are even finding it difficult to survive and even eat one meal in a day peacefully," said Pandey.​

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first published:June 05, 2021, 16:54 IST