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Pucovski Released from Test Squad After 'Challenges'

Cricketnext Staff |February 4, 2019, 11:39 AM IST
Pucovski Released from Test Squad After 'Challenges'

Youngster Will Pucovski has been released from the Australian squad for the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka, in Canberra after he reportedly faced some "challenges" which have led the medical staff to be concerned about his well being.

"Will Pucovski has been released from the Test squad and will return home to Melbourne to continue managing his well-being," said the Australian team doctor Richard Shaw.

"He reported some challenges over the past few days, and the decision has been made that the best thing for Will's welfare is for him to return home to Melbourne.

"Will has been proactive in this process and while he has made significant progress, he feels this is the best course of action to get ready to play cricket for Victoria."

Pucovski, 20, had spent the first half of the Sheffield season this year battling a stress-related mental health issue, but he returned to his state side of Victoria before being named in the squad selected for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. However, he is yet to make his Test debut.

"He worked closely with members of his family, Cricket Australia medical staff and Cricket Victoria to reach his decision," Shaw continued.

"Will's decision to speak up and continue to ask for assistance in managing his ongoing mental health is extremely positive.

"Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria will continue to support Will, and we kindly ask that Will's privacy is respected so he can continue working towards a return to Premier Cricket and the next round of first-class cricket."

Pucovski has suffered a series of serious concussions during his short career that has slowed his progress even more. He was hit on the head three times last season while he also copped a blow on the head during his Shield debut in 2017.

However, this did not stop him from recording a marathon 243 for his side against the Warriors in Perth that made him in an instant hero in the eyes of the Australian public. It was after this innings though that Pucovski first started battling with a mental health issue.

"It was one of those things where what it looked like from the outside wasn't quite matching up with what it was on the inside … I was more confused than at any other time in my life," Pucovski told Fox Sports.

"I was 64 not out overnight if I remember. I got to the game to have my pre-morning hit in the nets and pulled one of the coaches, Lachie Stevens, aside and said, 'Look mate, this is what I'm going through. I don't really understand what's going on and don't know why it's happening but this is what's happening'.

"It was quite a confronting thing but they were beyond awesome about it … They were just so supportive from the outset.

"I actually look back on it and don't have much of a recollection on the innings, which is rare for me."

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