Why cricket players become violent?
D. Murali and Kumar Shankar Roy
Chennai: What connects Harbhajan Singh, Andrew Symonds, Shoiab Akhtar and Herschelle Gibbs besides cricket and its controversies? The answer could be lying at the end of the research that sports psychologist Dr Sandy Gordon is trying to put together. He curiously terms the recent on-field/off-field antiques as result of the “apparent lack of emotional intelligence” among several cricketers from different nations.
“Cricket in general does seem to be going through a period where officials as well as players are struggling to cope with the myriad pressures being presented,” he told Business Line over the email, on being queried about the recent altercations between two Indian cricketers. Australian Dr Gordon - who advised Team India during the tenure of coach John Wright - is seeking funds for research which will investigate the contemporary needs of officials and coaches as well as players to cope with contemporary pressures.
“While other sports play a similar form of global entertainment that professional sport has become, only cricket seems poorly equipped to deal with the market forces at work,” he noted. “We will leverage off our current research on refining a Cricket Mental Toughness Inventory, which was funded by Cricket Australia,” revealed Dr Gordon. He is also the senior lecturer at the School of Human Movement and Exercise Science of The University of Western Australia.
“The Cricket Mental Toughness research is well under way but the final research, on organisation-wide issues and the demands of contemporary cricket on administrators, coaches as well as players, is still in a formative stage of development.”
On how he proposes to find out about the pressure-tolerating abilities, Dr Gordon explains that the research will highlight the significance of using techniques based on ‘coaching psychology’ before and during events, as opposed to ‘psychological counselling’ after the event.