Deep Dasgupta, the Indian cricketer turned sports presenter has urged the fraternity to look after the mental well-being of the athletes. In the cricket world in recent times this issue has raised major concerns, especially after three Australian cricketers; Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson and youngster Will Pucovksi made themselves unavailable for the series against Pakistan last year.

“The Mental health issue in India is still a taboo and needs to be addressed adequately, said Dasgupta during a webinar organised by the “Right To Sports” foundation.

The former Bengal captain and Indian wicketkeeper-batsman was talking on the topic of the potential of India as a multi-sports powerhouse when he touched upon this issue. He further believes that a proper ecosystem is needed in Indian sports fraternity so that kids can enjoy the game they play, rather than being concerned about the result all the time.

“In our country there is no mid path for the players, either they are superstars or no one at all. There has to be an ecosystem to look after this aspect. Once the ecosystem is created, there will be more participation in sports and parents will not be hesitant in sending their kids for sports classes,” he said.

On this aspect Dasgupta provided an example of Under-19 cricket and explained that, “Its not about winning at that level, it is about how many players you are producing from the under age categories and parents need to under this.”

In fact, acceding to many experts this result oriented approach (especially from the parents) right from the beginning puts a kid under extreme pressure and can trigger mental health issues in the later part of his career.

Meanwhile, Dasgupta’s co-panelist, the former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who himself suffered from mental health problems during his playing days echoed the same sentiment as well.

“A parent can act as a mentor for their kids from a young age. They should be empathetic. They should give his/her kid some space and keep oneself away from overpowering them. The kid is already battling the pressure of the game, so at that stage criticism and domination can worsen their mental well-being. Once the coach is introduced to the child, as a parent you have to trust the coach,” Panesar mentioned.

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