'The last few months in lockdown haven't been easy for us' - Tamim Iqbal
Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal has shed light on the mental exhaustion caused by the extensive break due to the coronavirus pandemic and stressed on the importance of recovering to normal standards quickly.
The veteran opening batsman recently visited England for a health check-up after complaining of intestinal pain. He has now finally joined other players in returning to training in Bangladesh with reports suggesting that Tamim is not suffering from anything serious.
Elaborating on his mental state and that of other players, Tamim claimed the situation was not ideal for them as they will take some time to get back in the groove.
The 31-year-old, who followed a two-week mandatory quarantine before commencing practice, emphasised on sound preparations for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour in September.
Bangladesh are expected to travel to Sri Lanka next month as the island nation has largely contained the Covid-19 crisis with the country hosting only a few hundred cases.
“The last few months were not easy for us but we have to make sure to come out from this soon.
"We need to get the point where we can say we are well mentally given we have an important tour [of Sri Lanka] ahead and I believe we have a good chance there,” Tamim was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.
He appreciated the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) decision to prioritise mental health and revealed that the players met a sports psychologist during the virus outbreak to keep their motivation intact.
“BCB had arranged a few sessions with a sports psychologist in these four-five months so that we stay stable mentally."
"I have done a couple of these sessions and these have helped me to be honest. In these four months, we were at home with family but then again there was always a pressure of working at the back of your mind due to all the uncertainties. Life was and still is not normal,” he told the media.
When asked about his personal fitness, Tamim felt he was not really far off the mark as he kept himself busy training at home, though he admitted such an arrangement paled in comparison to using professional facilities.
“Honestly, I did not find it to be that bad the way I had expected. Fitness wise also I think I am at a decent level at the moment. But there is a difference between working at home on machines and on the field under the sun,” he said.
“I think it will take around a week to get to the desired level. I am optimistic about the way we are working according to the schedule and protocols. We know the likely schedule of the games ahead for us and everyone is preparing to keep that in mind."