The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Beware of commercial distractions’

Brisbane: Sports psychologist Sandy Gordon has warned the Indians to avoid being distracted by “commercial demands” and keep in mind what works for them and what does not on the current tour of Australia.

“Commercial demands on players are distracting and increasingly intrusive. Those demands are around important events, so they need to be managed,” said Gordon who caught up with the visitors at the Allan Border Field on the first day of his three-day assignment with the Indian team.

“The players need to be prepared for it so that it doesn’t affect the real reason for being there and that is to play cricket,” said Gordon, adding “some demands from some agents and sponsors could distract.”

Gordon, a Perth-based psychologist whose past association with the Indian team earned him rave reviews, believes this Indian lot could be extremely competitive provided they keep in mind what is good for them.

“From my association with them, I know for sure they know what works and what doesn’t. If they could do it right, they could be very competitive,” he said.

Gordon said he would be meeting the boys again to possibly work out a new team theme. During the successful World Cup campaign, the theme was ‘Now or Never’. “I had then left it to the players and it was Sourav who had come up with the theme. Such things just keep you focussed on the task ahead,” Gordon remarked.

Gordon, who has an on-and-off kind of association with the Indian team, backed Sourav who has called for a more regular interaction with the psychologist. “Continuity is what I’m after and that’s what players say. ”

Gordon has advised the new members in the squad to interact with local people and know their culture to facilitate a better performance on the field.

Gordon praised Sachin Tendulkar for the way he handles pressure. “He is an example of being mentally very tough. He is very modest, sincere and a delightful individual,” Gordon said.

“My interaction with Indian cricketers has been very rewarding. Some have talked for 30 minutes while others for two and a half hours. I hope it turns out to be the best touring Indian team, both on and off the field,” the psychologist said. (PTI)

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