West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell said staying in bio-secure bubbles during tours and competitions due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic had taken a toll on his mental health. Russell played for Kolkata Knight Riders in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL), which was held in a bio-secure bubble before being suspended on May 4 after players and staff on multiple teams contracted COVID-19.
With the lucrative T20 tournament set to resume in September, the 33-year-old will play with the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League, which will take place in Abu Dhabi this month after being paused in March in Pakistan.
“I think it’s taking a toll on myself,” Russell told Geo News. “I can’t talk for any other player or coaches or anyone that goes through this whole quarantine stuff. But it’s definitely taken a toll on me mentally because from bubble to bubble, in a room locked in, you can’t go out for a walk, you can`t go certain places, you can’t socialise, it’s different.”
Russell said even though players were now somewhat used to staying in bubbles on tours, it was still challenging to experience it each time. “But at the end of the day, I’m not being ungrateful, I’m grateful that we’re still playing, we’re still doing our job. So it’s tough for us,” he added.
Russell said he tries to utilise the time and space in hotel rooms during quarantine by doing a variety of exercises. “So for me, I like to have a bike or something in my room so that I can get my heart rate up,” he said. “I would utilise the space that I have, go on the floor, do some of some push-ups. For some exercise, I use stuff in the room to just get something done.”
(with Reuters inputs)