Hows that! The Similarities Between Test Cricket and Psychoanalysis.

Over the last few days I managed to catch a few overs of Holder, the tall West Indian captain and all worlds best all rounder, bowling against Stokes, the English stand-in Captain, and the worlds second best all rounder. It was thrilling stuff, even with no live audience, rain and poor light...

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Long form types of sport, such as test cricket, which spreads over five days, are most akin to psychoanalytical psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.  There are periods when not much happens, the tension waxes and wanes, and then BOOM, it all kicks off.  Wickets fall. Bones are broken.  Double centuries.  Egos shatter.  Minds break.  It's impossible to know what is going to happen.  The outcome depends on both the players and team, and the weather and conditions.

Michael Brearley, a cricketer for 40 years, and analyst for the same length of time writes wonderfully about the parallels between the two.  He compares a sports player on top of their game, as following Bion's edict, to operate without memory and desire.  After all, the opening batsman can't work from a manual, or pre-determine his shot. He has to face to actual unique ball that he faces; in the same way, the analyst has to field the unique utterance and presentation of his patient.

It's really worth reading his short articles on the subject

Ajay Khandelwal PhD

Ajay Khandelwal is an experienced psychotherapist and consultant. He welcomes contact and enquiries and is accepting new clients via zoom during the shut down.