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Sachin Tendulkar says his anxiety levels before a match were ‘very high’

AFP: Former Indian captain and batting great Sachin Tendulkar revealed he had “very high” level of anxiety before a game, adding that he resorted to playing video games, shadow batting and watch TV when he couldn’t sleep.

“In my mind the match started long before I entered the ground. The anxiety levels were very high,” he said, according to the Times of India.

“I felt anxiety for 10-12 years, and had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on I started accepting that it was part of my preparation.

“Then I made peace with the times I was not able to sleep at night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable.”

Mental health has become a key consideration among athletes, including cricketers and especially during the pandemic when many are spending long periods in bio-secure “bubbles”.

Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests and 463 ODIs during a 24-year international career, said it was vital to accept first that there is a problem.

“When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. Same is the case with mental health,” he said.

“It is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs and when you hit those lows you need people around.
“Acceptability is the key here. Not just for the player, for people around him also. Once you have accepted you start looking for solutions.”

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