Rajasthan Royals physiotherapist John Gloster is helping manage the players' mentality during a challenging period in world cricket.
Several global sporting events have been postponed or cancelled as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian Premier League is among these. The start of the tournament has been moved from 29 March to 15 April, but might be subjected to more delays due to strict actions by the Indian government.
“For any athlete, the thing they hate most is the fear of the unknown. When a cricketer is injured, and is unsure about time-frames, it's easy for them to become frustrated. And that's when we need to start working on the mental and psychological side of the game. It's a similar situation here, because we don't yet know when they will be playing again, so there's no definitive starting point to work back from,” Gloster told ESPNcricinfo.
“The physical side of their games is probably the easiest bit to manage, to be perfectly honest. Because we know about that aspect, we know what constraints each player has in their home environments. But the mental side of this situation is taking us into some pretty uncharted waters.”
Rajasthan's players from abroad
England stars Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are part of the Rajasthan Royals' squad for the 2020 IPL. Both are still in the United Kingdom – and preparing for the delayed IPL. The Royals squad also features South Africa's David Miller and Australia's Andrew Tye.
“The physical constraints that the Indian players are now having seems to be a lot greater than that of the guys in say, South Africa, Australia or the UK, because space is an incredible constraint here. I've seen some fantastic footage coming out of the players in the UK where they're in their own gyms and they've got lots of space, and I think the Indian boys are going to be perhaps at a physical disadvantage there,” added Gloster.
“But one of the things that we've worked on very hard with our IPL players is knowing them 365 days of the year, and at an intimate level too – where they're from, what their background is, what they eat, how big their house is, what village they're from. All this stuff matters even more in an environment like this, because now we know what's realistic or unrealistic when we ask them to do things.”