Morgan warns against long-term impact of bio-bubbles

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Eoin Morgan England South Africa T20

England captain Eoin Morgan believes cricketers should be allowed to pull out of any tour if the bio-bubbles impact their mental health.

The West Indies arrived in England in June, a month ahead of their three-match Test series that restarted international cricket after the pandemic brought sporting events across the globe to a halt.

Morgan speaks out on mental strain of the bubble

It has now become the new normal for players to be confined to bio-secure environments on tours and during tournaments, including at the ongoing Indian Premier League in the UAE.

“We managed to fulfil all of our international fixtures for the summer,” Morgan, who has assumed the Kolkata Knight Riders captaincy in the IPL, told various media.

“But to keep that level of bubble for 10 of the 12 months that we normally travel, I think is untenable. 

“You can drill a player both mentally and physically. And it can cause extreme burnout, which nobody wants to see.”

England played host West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia across their home summer with all matches played either at Lod Trafford in Manchester or the Rose Bowl Southampton.

Life in a fish bowl

Player travel was restricted from the on-site hotels to the grounds and Morgan feels that more similar tours will only increase the stress levels. Notably Jofra Archer broke the protocols by visiting family while he should have been in the bubble and copped furious abuse for his actions.

“We’ve spoken about this as a team and we’ve accepted that guys will come in and out of the bubble as they feel it is affecting their mental health,” said Morgan.

“I don’t think people should look down on it and they shouldn’t feel like people aren’t doing their job or not committing to their country.

“That’s a reactive way of dealing with things and we want to be at the forefront of making it acceptable for people to say ‘I need to spend time with my family now and I’m taking this tour off’ just because of the extraordinary circumstances,” The World Cup-winning skipper opined.

England are seemingly set to tour South Africa for limited-overs matches next month, with tours of Sri Lanka and India to follow early next year.

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