Former Indian cricketer Maninder Singh has voiced his opinions about cricketers’ mental health issues after England all-rounder Ben Stokes decided to take an indefinite break from the sport. The 56-year-old said that it is not easy for everyone to emulate former captain MS Dhoni’s way of dealing with pressure.
In an interview with News18, Maninder Singh was asked if MS Dhoni’s template of cutting off from cricket and media once off the field would help others. Maninder, who played 35 Tests for India, pointed out that MS Dhoni has always stayed away from the media and other distractions. He went on to add that it has been his fundamental nature.
“See, everyone can’t be MS Dhoni since everyone has a basic nature that is different from others. Dhoni has always been like that since his early days. He always said that he didn’t read newspapers or followed media which is a wonderful way to handle distractions but it is not easy to emulate that for others.
“When anyone tries to change his or her basic nature, it puts a lot of pressure inside your mind as well. So, it is not easy to follow the MSD way of handling pressure,” Maninder Singh said.
A lot of people are in denial mode: Maninder Singh takes a dig at Sourav Ganguly
BCCI’s president and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly recently stated that mental health issues don’t affect Indian cricketers. When asked about his thoughts on this, Maninder Singh said that many people are in denial mode. He added that he’s sure that many cricketers are already seeking help to cope with their mental health troubles.
“It’s not only the cricketers, but a lot of people are in denial mode. You can say that I started this topic in India but Virat Kohli also spoke about his struggle so there are mental health issues in India as well. People in India are quick to say arey who toh pagal ho gaya (he has gone mad) when somebody is down and he is talking about his struggle. But, I am sure a lot of cricketers are seeking and taking help from someone or other (on coping with mental health issues),” Maninder Singh said.
Ben Stokes, who has taken a break from cricket due to mental health issues, will miss the upcoming series against India.