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England cricketers to receive mental health screening ahead of winter tours

England’s cricket players will be offered “mental health screening” before attending any further winter tours, states England men’s cricket managing director Ashley Giles.

Giles confirmed the new player welfare measures will be brought in after the South African tour was cancelled due to a coronavirus outbreak within the teams bio-secure bubble.

Fears over the mental toll of being kept inside of the bubble have amounted in recent days after England players Tom Banton and Tom Curran withdrew from Australia’s Big Bash League, claiming to be suffering from mental fatigue, having been secured in bubbles for six months.

A Test tour is expected to go ahead in Sri Lanka on January 2, followed by a playing in all three formats in India.

“On the back of this an important part of it will be mental health screening,” said Giles, when questioned whether players would be asked if they wished to travel with the team.

“These are very difficult environments, you are away for long periods, it is tough for everyone and those layers of bio-security just add a different level of anxiety.

“These guys have been living in bubbles for long periods of time and their mental health and well-being is the absolute priority for us.

“If we consistently say that’s the most important thing for us, when we’re tested we can’t move away from that.

“All of us want this period to be over sooner rather than later. In the meantime, post-Christmas we are going to have to manage our bubbles well and manage our people really well.”

Author: Jake Wilkin