Liam Plunkett was an important part of England’s World Cup winning squad earlier this month, picking up crucial wickets at important stages of matches. However, Plunkett has had his down moments as he comes to terms with the biggest achievement of his career.
However the fast bowler, who has experienced anxiety early in his career and suffered a panic attack while travelling outside the game, said he has been keeping on top of his mental health.
“I’ve always been big into it [mental health awareness],” Plunkett told the Telegraph. “I had a panic attack a long time ago. I never knew what it was and I got anxiety around it. I struggled being in one-on-one situations and certain situations like travelling on a plane and I’ve always been conscious of that.”
For him the transition from the high of winning the World Cup at Lord’s to regular life has been tough.
“I went from winning the World Cup and all of a sudden I’m sat on my sofa watching Netflix a day and a half later. It was quite hard and honestly I felt quite down a little bit,” he said.
“Everything was building up to that World Cup and it was the highest point of my career. I’m not sure anything’s going to happen like that again in cricket for me.”
The Surrey bowler revealed that he had felt the impact of the squad disbanding too. “In the blink of an eye it was gone, as I say it felt like a massive low then. Everyone just disappeared everywhere else, so it was sad a little bit because you still want to be around people.
“You’ve just won the World Cup, you might never see that again never mind winning it so I felt a little bit down after. It was sad.”
Plunkett acknowledged that he had spoken to professionals before and if the need arises he would do so again.
“I’ve never stopped speaking to anyone, but it’s just a natural thing. From winning the World Cup to sitting on your sofa it is a big drop. I think a lot of the guys felt the same, we spoke to each other about it but as I said you’ve got to go back to playing for your county, some guys are playing in the Ashes and the Test against Ireland.”
Plunkett said he had also taken steps outside of speaking to team psychologists to manage his mental health in the past. “For maybe three or four years I was in and out of meditating. I’ve always tried to do a bit of yoga and to take a breath out [of the game] too,” he said.
The England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers’ Association have not ignored the mental well-being of players after former players like Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Flintoff, and more recently Jonathan Trott opened up about their experiences.
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