Bio-secure bubbles are stressful – Holder
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Former Test captain Jason Holder has described cricket during the ongoing COVID-19 environment as the “hardest days” of his career, pointing to mental exhaustion as one of the major side effects of the bio-secure bubble.
The 29-year-old Barbadian was one of several West Indies players who returned to the Caribbean recently following the abrupt suspension of the Indian Premier League due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in India.
Holder, who featured in a single game for Sunrisers Hyderabad, flew to India immediately following Sri Lanka’s tour of the Caribbean, which was played on the heels of the Regional Super50 in February.
EXHAUSING AND BORING
“This has been the hardest days of my career so far. Mentally, it gets pretty exhausting and pretty boring,” Holder lamented.
“It is good to get this break, and I presume I will have to take one or two more breaks as the year unfolds.
“We have got a pretty heavy schedule, and it will be pretty interesting to see how I manage myself and my mental state, but it is taking it step-by-step and not getting too far ahead of myself.”
Holder played a key role in cricket’s historic first bio-secure series when he led West Indies on a three-Test tour of England last July at the height of the pandemic.
The top-ranked Test all-rounder played cricket virtually non-stop thereafter, leading Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League last August, turning out in the IPL for Sunrisers before heading directly to New Zealand for West Indies’ two-Test tour in December.
While this year’s IPL bowled off in early April with much promise, soaring COVID-19 cases resulted in a national crisis, and organisers were forced to abort the tournament after several franchises reported positive cases despite the bio-secure bubble.
Holder said he never felt unsafe, however, with the integrity of the bubble remaining intact.
Holder, along with white-ball captain Kieron Pollard, veterans Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, and Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, and Fabian Allen all campaigned in the IPL this year.
Media reports have indicated that all but Gayle have returned to the Caribbean.
Holder said even though he was disappointed that the IPL could not have continued, the focus now would be on rejuvenating himself.
“I am obviously disappointed that the tournament was cut short or postponed, but it’s still good to be home, having [not] been home since January, so it’s good to come home and see the family, refresh and recuperate,” Holder explained.