Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev mocks mental health in viral video; says 'don't play IPL if you feel pressure'

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India’s legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev has given blunt advice to those cricketers who complain of “feeling the pressure” to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also said he doesn’t understand “American words like depression”.

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While today (October 10) is observed as World Mental Health Day, Kapil’s comment on depression has not gone down well with many netizens. However, there were others too on social media who supported the 1983 World Cup-winning captain.

In the video which has gone viral since yesterday, Kapil is seen advising cricketers not to play the lucrative IPL Twenty20 league if they feel the pressure. And goes on to add that he never felt pressure during his playing days as he enjoyed the game and it was his passion.

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“I hear a lot of times on TV that there’s a lot of pressure on players to play in the IPL. Then I only say one thing, don’t play. If a player has passion, there will be no pressure. I can’t understand these American words pressure, depression. I’m a farmer and we play because we enjoy the game, and there can’t be any pressure while enjoying the game,” Kapil is heard saying in the video clip which has been widely shared on Twitter.

In the video, Kapil is seated next to India’s ace badminton player Saina Nehwal. And when he asked players not to pay IPL, there was laughter and applause from the audience.

Kapil’s comments come ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup which begins in Australia on Sunday (October 16).

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There have been instances of cricketers taking a break from the game due to mental health issues. The recent examples have been India’s star batsman Virat Kohli and England Test captain Ben Stokes. Kapil’s comments on mental health have upset many.

In August, Kohli had said he was feeling mentally down. “I am not shy to admit that I was feeling mentally down. We don’t want to be looked at as mentally weak. Trust me, faking to be strong is far worse than admitting to be weak … I’m looked at as a guy who is mentally very strong and I am. But everyone has a limit and you need to recognise that limit, otherwise things can get unhealthy for you,” Kohli told Star Sports.

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