Former England skipper Michael Atherton is now a part of the media as he not only does commentary, but also is a regular in the media box, writing for The Times. And he believes that it has indeed become a lot more harder for players with the advent of social media than it was during his time as a player.
"I think it is harder for players now than I played. There was no social media when I played. Of course, you still had criticism from commentators and journalists and maybe the tabloid media was a bit stronger in England then than it is now. The social media interest didn't exist then and I think it is tougher for young players now as it is very hard to get away from social media. The players are encouraged to be on social media for all kinds of reasons: for personal sponsorships and general availability.
"But that level of vitriol and criticism is quite tough to deal with particularly if you are young. I was thinking of some of the young England cricketers. I saw some of the Under 19s this winter in South Africa, who got dumped out of the tournament at an early stage and took a fair bit of criticism on social media. At 19, that is quite hard to deal with, but it is a fact of life.
"It is one of those things that you have to find a way of dealing with. You can either say to yourself, ‘Well, I am not going to engage with it by not reading the papers'. But, in the end, usually these things get to you somehow. People will make you aware of what is been said or what is been written. It is tricky and difficult. You just have to find a way of coping," he told PCB's media in an interview.
Atherton also believes that the players no longer have something called a personal space due to the social media engagements.
"That is how life has gone a bit. People are much more open than perhaps they were in my generation. Today, in fact, there is an eight-part Amazon Prime documentary series on the Australia cricket team where the cameras have been in the dressing room. They have been in every team meeting and I think the filmmakers had 2,600 hours of footage there and that's just outside of the cricket.
"People are much more open than they were and with that come advantages: you get to see people as they really are and you get a great deal of authenticity about it. But that lack of privacy can be tricky and difficult. Players need to feel that they have somewhere in a cricket ground where they can let off steam, without the cameras prying. I would be wary about cameras in the dressing room all the time if I was playing," he pointed.