I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest: Virat Kohli
The 2014 England Tour was one of the toughest phases of Virat Kohli's cricket career. Captain Kohli couldn't keep going with the willow and was only able to score 188 runs from 14 innings. Speaking at Mark Nicholas' Not Just Cricket podcast, the 32-year-old revealed that he had undergone severe depression during that time.
“Yes, I did. It’s not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won’t be able to score runs and I think all batsmen have felt that at some stage that you are not in control of anything at all,” Kohli recalled.
“You just don’t understand how to get over it. That was a phase when I literally couldn’t do anything to overturn things. I felt like I was the loneliest guy in the world. Personally, for me that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you a part of a big group,” he said.
Kohli emphasizes the need to speak with a professional during such a period.
“I won’t say I didn’t have people who I could speak to but not having a professional to speak to who could understand what I am going through completely, I think is a huge factor. I think I would like to see it change,” Kohli said.
“Someone whom you can go to at any stage, have a conversation around and say ‘Listen this is what I am feeling, I am finding it hard to even go to sleep, I feel like I don’t want to wake up in the morning. I have no confidence in myself, what do I do?’
Mental well-being is something that is very essential to address, and it is really necessary for players to talk about it rather than keep it on their own.
“Lot of people suffer from that feeling for longer periods of time, it carries on for months, it carries on for a whole cricket season, people are not able to get out of it. I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest,” he added.
Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2020, became the first-ever IPL franchise to recruit a sports psychologist, prioritizing mental health as one of the quintessential aspects for a cricketer to excel at the game.