Veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni recently threw his weight behind the importance of taking care of the mental aspects of cricket players. Lending his supports towards MFORE, an initiative for mind conditioning programs launched by his former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) teammate Subramaniam Badrinath along with businessman Saravana Kumar, MS Dhoni said that dealing with mental illness is a “big issue” in India. According to MFORE, the ex-India captain made these comments in an interaction session before the ongoing India lockdown situation came into effect.
MS Dhoni has been on a sabbatical from international cricket since the 2019 Cricket World Cup. In a recent interactive session organised by MFORE, MS Dhoni admits to feeling some pressure in the first five to 10 deliveries whenever he goes out to bat. The 2011 World Cup winning captain said that he feels a “bit scared” just like everyone else but does not know how to deal with it.
Thereby, MS Dhoni underlined the importance of keeping mental conditioning coaches a permanent member of the team management. He believes that mental conditioning coaches should not just come and go back after 15 days. But instead, Dhoni said that if such coaches remain with players at all times in the camp, they can fully understand the key aspect of the areas that are affecting player’s performances.
Apart from MS Dhoni, Indian captain Virat Kohli was also earlier quoted in regards to the importance of taking care of mental health. He said that mental health and clarity are the most important factors of life. When Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell took a temporary break from the game citing mental health last year, Virat Kohli praised the cricketer for his decision.
During the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) trading and transfer window, MS Dhoni was retained by CSK for the now-postponed IPL 2020 season. The right-handed batsman was retained for US$2.1 million (₹15 crore) by the franchise. MS Dhoni has led CSK to three IPL titles ever since the tournament inaugurated in 2008. Under Dhoni’s leadership, CSK won the IPL titles in 2010, 2011 and 2018 editions.