Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell has taken a break from cricket to deal with his mental health. The news shocked the cricketing world as the cricketer was doing well on the field. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first instance when a cricketer, male or female, has opted out of the national squad to deal with mental health.
Cricwizz takes a look at five cricketers who have dealt with mental health issues.
The former England opener never publicly acknowledged during his playing days that he was suffering from depression. He withdrew from the squad a few times, citing stress-related illness in 2006.
But it later came to light, he was suffering from clinical depression. He made a recovery and had a good run with the bat in domestic cricket. But he couldn’t make a return to the national team and eventually retired from international cricket in 2008 at just 30.
In his autobiography, Trescothick revealed he suffered from anxiety attacks since the age of 10. He turned down many requests to return to international cricket, stating he’s putting his family and health first.
The fiery Australian bowler had to take an indefinite break from cricket in 2008, stating he has been physically and emotionally exhausted. Although it was not clear if he suffered from depression, he said he needed a break from professional cricket to clear his mind and rest his tired body.
He returned to international cricket and was part of Australia squad in 2011 World Cup. However, his career was marred with recurring injuries. He retired from cricket in 2017 due to chronic elbow injury.
The England cricketer also returned home midway from an Ashes series in Australia in 2013, citing stress-related illness. In his autobiography, he cited short balls as the root cause of his problems. He said he felt his dignity was being stripped away with every short ball he ducked or parried.
He said cricket turned into a tormentor for him from the joy he had playing the sport.
He further mentioned in his book that he considered driving his car into The Thames or into a tree to get out of the ordeal.
He ended his international career in 2015 in West Indies. He played 52 Tests, scoring 3835 runs @ 44.08 with 9 tons and 19 fifties. He ended up with a record of scoring most Test runs without a six.
He was one of the few cricketers who spoke about mental health issues openly. He was India’s youngest-ever Test player at 17 years in 1982. But he turned to alcohol and became a recluse.
He retired from cricket at a young age of 30. He played 35 Tests and 59 ODIs for India, taking 88 wickets and 66 wickets respectively. He later turned commentator. But even after retirement, he was in news.
After retirement, he was once arrested for keeping cocaine in his possession. He admitted that he had kept it for personal use. Also, he reportedly had attempted suicide in 2007, but his wife told the media then that the injuries to his wrists were purely an accident.
The mental health issues affected women cricketers too. And England keeper-batswoman Sarah Taylor opened to it in public. In July 2019, she withdrew from England squad to spend some time away from the game due to her mental health issues. But a few months later, she announced retirement from international cricket due to the same reasons.
In a social media post, she said it was the right time for her and her health to retire and move on to the next chapter.
She played 121 ODIs for England, scoring 3958 runs, 7 tons and 19 fifties, and effecting 83 catches, and 50 stumpings. She also played 9 Tests and 89 T20Is.