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From Flintoff to Pucovski: Players Who Have Battled Mental Illness

Players around the globe battle all kinds of pressures during their playing careers. While some manage to withstand the rigours of this constant pressure, the others crumble. Of late, a few cricketers have come out in the open and talked about their mental illnesses.

Cricketnext Staff |October 31, 2019, 5:31 PM IST
From Flintoff to Pucovski: Players Who Have Battled Mental Illness

Players around the globe battle all kinds of pressures during their playing careers. While some manage to withstand the rigours of this constant pressure, the others crumble. Of late, a few cricketers have come out in the open and talked about their mental illnesses.

And now Australia all-rounder, Glenn Maxwell has decided to take an indefinite break from the game, citing mental health issues as the reason.

Cricketnext takes a look at some of the players who have battled mental illness in the past:

Marcus Trescothick

Image: Facebook/Somerset CCC Image: Facebook/Somerset CCC[/caption]

The stylish left-hander had a flourishing career before it was cut short by stress and depression. Trescothick had revealed that he suffered from anxiety attacks since the age of 10. His mental illness came to the fore during England’s tour of India in 2006, where he was replaced by Alaistair Cook. Though the southpaw did make a comeback after that, he was the never the same player after that.

Jonathan Trott

Image: Getty Images Image: Getty Images[/caption]

The South Africa-born Trott first played for England in 2009 and established himself as their batting mainstay in the years to come. But the news about his mental health first surfaced during the Ashes 2013-14, which led him to pulling-out from the series. His battle continued for a few years, until he finally called it a day. He played his last Test in 2015 against the West Indies.

Andrew Flintoff

Image: Getty Image: Getty[/caption]

Yet another England player faced mental health issues. After a fantastic 2005 Ashes series, where Flintoff emerged as the star performer, his team slumped to a 5-0 defeat in the next edition to arch-rivals Australia. That pushed him into alcoholism and depression. After the tour he had once said, "I was captain of England and financially successful. Yet instead of walking out confidently to face Australia in one of the world's biggest sporting events, I didn't want to get out of bed, never mind face people."

Steve Harmison

Image: Twitter Image: Twitter[/caption]

The former England pacer had revealed that he suffered from depression almost throughout his career. In a BBC documentary, Harmison admitted he suffered from homesickness and anxiety attacks. The lanky pacer suffered from depression since an early age. "It is so, so tough. I can remember sleepless nights in hotel rooms where I would be in tears and then going out to play the next day," Harmison wrote in a column in The Telegraph.

Will Pucovski

Image: Cricket Australia Image: Cricket Australia[/caption]

Hailed as the next big thing in Australian cricket, the youngster was drafted in the Test squad for the series against Sri Lanka. But Pucovski could not play any matches as he faced stress-related mental health issues. He was ruled out of the Sheffield Shield in October last year, just days after scoring 243 against Western Australia due to mental health issues. In fact he received help from mindfulness coach Emma Murray.

Sarah Taylor

Image: Twitter Image: Twitter[/caption]

England’s wicket-keeper batsman Taylor has been battling anxiety for the past few years. The problem first surfaced in 2016 which forced Taylor to take a lengthy sabbatical. In fact after making a comeback, she was forced to pull out of WT20 World Cup in 2018 before returning to full-fledged action earlier this year. But she withdrew from the women’s Ashes recently, once again.

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