Former India mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton reckons that athletes who have interests outside of cricket will be coping with the current period better but players on the fringes will find this phase very disruptive.

Sporting action across the globe has taken an indefinite break amid the coronavirus pandemic. International and domestic cricket calendar has also suffered massively with several tournaments including the cash-rich IPL being put on hold.

“The athletes who had interests outside of cricket, and which they can still pursue, will be coping better than those who have made sport the sole focus and purpose of their lives. For this latter group, they will really need to find new interests,” Upton told The Times of India.

“Fringe players and those at the early stages of their career, especially those who have very recently broken through to the next level, would naturally be feeling this break very disruptive,” he added.

The break will be perceived differently by those who are well-established. “A significant change in the status quo is stressful for most people. For athletes, there would be a range of experiences, from welcome relief for the established to anxiety and insecurity, both professionally and financially, for possibly a greater number,” he said.

Upton says to help players deal with downtime, his advised them to pursue things other watching TV, playing games or scrolling through social media.

“I didn’t specifically prepare a player for things like this, but certainly have had a number of conversations about how they are using their downtime,” Upton said when asked if he had ever prepared players for such scenarios.

“For international cricketers, much of this downtime is spent in their hotel rooms, and I have always encouraged them to be productive about this time, broadening their horizons and furthering their lives, rather than simply whittling this time away by spending the majority of it watching TV series, playing TV games or being on social media,” he added.