Mental coach Uptonís role with Pune Warriors downgraded

Paddy Upton, the mental conditioning coach who was attached to the Indian cricket team that won the World Cup, will have a reduced role to play with the Pune Warriors in the sixth season of the Indian Premier League.

The decision was made by Sahara, the owners of the Pune team, following the bottom-placed finish in the last season. Upton is currently employed with Cricket South Africa.

However, the change in Upton's status seems to be more about the nature of the IPL, where teams have to travel every second day and hence get little time for anything outside practice and playing matches. In such a scenario, the paucity of time meant that Upton was not having the desired effect on the players in the midst of an hectic season.

Abhijit Sarkar, the head of Sahara Corporate Communications, told The Sunday Express that instead of using Upton on a full-time basis, it was decided that the South African-born mental conditioning coach would conduct sessions in the pre-season.

"We won't be hiring him for the entire year. Instead we have decided to have his sessions before the start of the IPL. If we feel that players need more time with Upton we will be asking him to do additonal sessions," Sarkar said. "Every third day the team is traveling, followed by endless practice sessions. There is very little time for a mental conditioning coach to talk to players. So we all felt that we can utilise Upton's services before the IPL," Sarkar added.

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