Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Perception of Psychological Skills in Pakistani Cricketers: An Exploratory Study

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Perception of Psychological Skills in Pakistani Cricketers: An Exploratory Study

Article excerpt

Cricket is being loved passionately by the people of Indian subcontinent. Government of Pakistan is spending huge amount of money on Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in order to improve quality of cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan Cricket Team is the national cricket team of Pakistan and is member of International Cricket Council (ICC). Pakistan has played 884 One Day International matches (ODIs), winning 469, losing 389, tying 8 with 18 ending with no-result (ESPNCricinfo, 2014). Pakistan team won 1992 World Cup championship, and was runners-up in the 1999 tournament. Pakistan, hosted the 1987 and 1996 World Cups, with the 1996 final being played at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The team has also played 121 Twentytwenty International matches, the most of any team, winning 73 losing 45. Pakistan won the 2009 ICC World Twenty-twenty and were runnersup in the inaugural tournament in 2007 and also won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. Pakistan was given a Test status on 28 July 1952 (Cricket Country Staff, 2012).

In recent years, sports psychology has highlighted the significance of psychological factors in cricket players. The increased stress of competition not only effects a cricketer physically but psychologically by affecting his or her performance abilities (Birrer & Morgan, 2010). Increased heart rate, cold sweat, and tension about competition hinder the way of concentration while in the field. Muscle fatigue, low efficiency, narrow focused and lower motivation cause flat performance (Orlick, 2000). Sports psychology enables cricketers and coaches to focus on psychological skills to control negative emotions and maximize performance. These skills allow players to focus on their game in a positive manner. Psychology has become another weapon in the armory of cricketers in gaining the winning edge (Birrer & Morgan, 2010). The main objective in sports is winning that is linked with higher level of performance. As cricket has become more sophisticated, coaches who didn't utilize the psychological tools for their players had to bear disgrace in field because of their poor performance (Michaels, 2012).

A cricketer's mental approach can be constructed in nets at the same time when a batsman refines his/her reverse sweep or an off spinner who practice to perfect his/her ability in a particular deliver. The main problem of every international cricket team is that most gifted players are unable to match their psychological approach and physical competence under pressure (Stow, 2013). Psychological components along with physical fitness help cricketers to handle competitive performance including relaxation techniques, imagery and visualization, positive selftalk, and a mind set to deal with pre-competition stress and avoiding choking during competition (West, 2009). Along with physical and technical abilities, psychological and behavioral characteristics are also very useful to cope with choking as the mental side becomes more important when one gets to a higher level of cricket. The 1990s was the fitness revolution, the 2000s have been the sport science and analysis decade and now the next leading edge will be the mental one (McRobert & Muller, 2009).

Psychological skills are decisive in sports at elite level where thoughts lead towards success. Sports have psychological constituents that require positive attitude to channelize energies on the journey of peak glory. Previously it was believed that these skills are achieved in early years of life but now it is admitted that players and coaches are proficient to learn a wide range of psychological skills that play a vital role in their performance (Cricket Country Staff, 2012). The journey of triumph has many psychological pressures and only mentally tough players have better ability to handle these pressures. In today's sports world; trophies, media coverage, and fandom is only for the champions of competitions who dominate their opponents with psychological supremacy regardless of field stressors. …

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