PCB officials are keen on making a well-informed decision about Pakistan's participation in the tournament.
LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-August 5th, 2023) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is currently contemplating the appointment of a psychologist to aid the national cricket team in managing the pressure during the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to be held in India during October-November.
As this will be the first time most players will be competing in India, PCB officials are keen on making a well-informed decision about Pakistan's participation in the tournament. To this end, a high-level government committee convened its inaugural meeting on Thursday to finalize the matter.
While the PCB has received positive signals through various channels, the team's travel plans are contingent on obtaining security clearance. The board is also considering sending a delegation to assess the prevailing situation in India.
Given that most of the current squad members lack experience playing in India, the authorities are wary of the potential impact of media hype and public expectations, which could put added pressure on the players. Consequently, there is serious consideration being given to appointing a psychologist to accompany the squad and bolster their morale during crucial moments, thereby safeguarding them from any anxieties. Although no candidate has been confirmed for the role yet, the board is actively exploring options, and pre-departure sessions are being considered.
Chairman PCB Management Committee, Zaka Ashraf, is committed to maintaining a harmonious relationship with the players and has advised relevant authorities on resolving central contract matters amicably. A significant pay raise has been proposed as part of this effort. Upon returning from Sri Lanka, Ashraf will also meet with the captain, Babar Azam, to gather his input on team management matters.
It is worth noting that back in 2012, during Pakistan's last bilateral series in India, the sports psychologist Maqbool Babri was part of the team. Zaka Ashraf was the PCB Chairman at that time. Maqbool was appointed to provide counseling sessions specifically for Mohammad Amir, who had previously been involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and had served a jail sentence in the UK before returning to Pakistan.
The 2012 tour saw Pakistan and India compete in a T20 series that ended in a draw (1-1), while Pakistan won the ODI series (2-1). This tour marked the first time in five years that the Green Shirts had played in India, with many players making their debut on Indian soil.
Regarding the upcoming ODI World Cup, the traditional rivals Pakistan and India were originally scheduled to clash on October 15th, but due to scheduling changes, the match will now take place one day earlier. The ICC is expected to release an updated fixture soon, which might also impact the Green Shirts' game against Sri Lanka.