The Pakistan team has been undergoing a rigorous ICC ODI World Cup 2023 campaign while being confined to their hotel rooms amid heavy security cover and restrictions as they move from city to city.
“Being on the road is nothing new for the guys,” Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s Director of Cricket, told reporters ahead of the side’s crucial World Cup 2023 game against New Zealand here on Friday.
“What has been tough is the fact that we’ve been under a massive amount of security. So, I’ve sort of taken it back. And to be fair, I found it difficult. It’s like we’ve been back in the COVID times, where you were secluded to your floor and your team room. So much so that their breakfast is in a separate room to everybody else. So, that’s been the tough aspect,” the 55-year-old said.
The team largely stays in the hotels assigned to them, with the exploring of local cuisines in many of the cities they’ve visited, happening with the help of food delivery apps.
“The aspect about being on the road is, our boys are used to it. But when they’re on the road, they’ve still been able to get out and go and have meals, etc., at different places, and get out on their own accord where we haven’t been able to do this time. And that’s been tough. That has been quite stifling,” he added.
Arthur admits that these things do impact the psychology of the team as a unit.
“I’ve seen it with some players where it has been, you wake up again and it’s like Groundhog Day. It’s exactly the same. You have breakfast and if it’s a non-training day, you’re back to your room. We’ve tried to have sort of little fun team events and whatever within our team room. But you know, there’s only so much you can recreate,” Arthur said.
“I think the guys have been out three times - we’ve managed to do that with security, get them out to a different restaurant or whatever, just to give them a little bit of a taste of the outside world,” he added.
Pakistan’s World Cup league stage campaign will see a final pit stop in Kolkata, with their hopes of making it further in the tournament still looking uncertain.
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