Recently, Ben Stokes chose not to be part of the England vs India Test series as he took an indefinite break from the sport for his mental well-being. The pandemic has ensured that professional cricketers have no respite staying in a strict bio-bubble, and that could affect anyone's mental health. And Stokes was praised for taking a break to prioritize his mental well-being. There have been a few cricketers who have had earlier set the precedent of taking a break from cricket for their mental health.
Official Statement: Ben Stokes— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 30, 2021
Cricwizz takes a look.
In-form Glenn Maxwell shocked the world when he announced he is taking a short break from international cricket due to mental health problems in October 2019. Just days before that announcement, he has had made a match-winning 62 off 28 balls as Australia defeated Sri Lanka in a T20I. Maxwell’s decision was praised by Indian captain Virat Kohli calling the Australian setting the right example.
Although not specifically mentioning mental health, Trott took a break from all forms of cricket in 2013 as he returned home just ahead of the Ashes series in Australia. He mentioned "stress and anxiety" for the forced break and tried to make a comeback in 2014. However, a recurrence of the condition saw him postpone his comeback. In 2015, after struggling in a Test series against West Indies, he retired from international cricket. Trott played 52 Tests and 68 ODIs for England.
Trescothick was an exciting and talented opener for England but his abrupt return from a tour of India in 2006 sparked speculation about his mental health. Although the player blamed a virus then, it later came to light he was suffering from clinical depression. However, after many attempts to make an international comeback, Trescothick gave up and decided to call time on his international career in 2008 post another recurrence of his mental health condition.
So unbelievably proud to have co-founded mental health charity Awesome Minds with @chrisjmcgarry. Chris you're a superstar! Please stay tuned for news of upcoming launch events #healthytogether #mentalhealth pic.twitter.com/ksfjrbQjHI— Sarah Taylor (@Sarah_Taylor30) May 4, 2019
Mental health issues have affected female cricketers as well. And England keeper-batswoman Sarah Taylor was the first to highlight the issue. She was part of England’s winning campaign in the 2017 Women’s World Cup. She also won few ICC awards such as the ICC Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year award in 2012 and 2013. But in July 2019, she made a surprise withdrawal from a T20I series due to her mental health issues, and a few months later, she retired from international cricket.