From Glenn Maxwell to Andrew Flintoff: 5 cricketers who struggled with mental health

First Published 22, Nov 2020, 1:37 PM

Cricket has become a tiring sport nowadays, with a crunched calendar. As a result, the cricketers have to play the sport throughout the year, leading to both physical and mental fatigue. Some of the cricketers suffer such a mental health issue that they are compelled to take a break.

<p>Cricket is one of the oldest sport on the planet. Yet, it is on the rise, being played by only a limited number of top nations. In the past few years, the cricketing activities have increased so much that the sport is played throughout the year.</p>

Cricket is one of the oldest sport on the planet. Yet, it is on the rise, being played by only a limited number of top nations. In the past few years, the cricketing activities have increased so much that the sport is played throughout the year.

<p>With a crunch cricketing calendar, the cricketers play almost 12 months a year. Consequently, it has led to a number of cricketers opting for a break, citing physical and mental fatigue.</p>

With a crunch cricketing calendar, the cricketers play almost 12 months a year. Consequently, it has led to a number of cricketers opting for a break, citing physical and mental fatigue.

<p>Furthermore, it is the mental exhaustion that leads to serious trouble, be it for cricketing or personal reasons. In the same light, we take a look at five cricketers, who underwent through a similar phase.</p>

Furthermore, it is the mental exhaustion that leads to serious trouble, be it for cricketing or personal reasons. In the same light, we take a look at five cricketers, who underwent through a similar phase.

<p><strong>Andrew Flintoff:</strong> The former English all-rounder is considered one of the legends of the sport. However, he did not let it come into the limelight until recently when he had stated that he was battling mental health issues, including depression. “I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I knew when I got back to my room, I couldn’t shut off, which is why I started having a drink. It got to the stage where I was probably drinking more than I should. All I wanted was for the doctor to tell me what was wrong, but no one suggested it was depression. There’s a certain sense of shame when I remember sitting in the dressing room after winning a one-day international in the West Indies. The lads were celebrating and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I didn’t want to do anything, but sit on my own in the corner,” he told The Guardian.</p>

Andrew Flintoff: The former English all-rounder is considered one of the legends of the sport. However, he did not let it come into the limelight until recently when he had stated that he was battling mental health issues, including depression. “I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I knew when I got back to my room, I couldn’t shut off, which is why I started having a drink. It got to the stage where I was probably drinking more than I should. All I wanted was for the doctor to tell me what was wrong, but no one suggested it was depression. There’s a certain sense of shame when I remember sitting in the dressing room after winning a one-day international in the West Indies. The lads were celebrating and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I didn’t want to do anything, but sit on my own in the corner,” he told The Guardian.

<p><strong>Jonathan Trott:</strong> The former English batsman was a part of England’s numerous winning campaigns, including the 2013 Ashes. However, he abruptly ended his career, citing “long-standing stress-related condition”. “Just coming down to breakfast, I’d sit on my own away from the guys with my cap over my head, because I didn’t know how I was going to react to having to go to the cricket ground again. I was waking up looking at the clock, hoping the clock had stopped, or that a pylon had fallen on the field and the game had been cancelled, or the stadium had collapsed – as long as there was no one in it, of course. You end up thinking of all sorts of ways you wouldn’t have to go to the ground.” he has quoted to The Independent.</p>

Jonathan Trott: The former English batsman was a part of England’s numerous winning campaigns, including the 2013 Ashes. However, he abruptly ended his career, citing “long-standing stress-related condition”. “Just coming down to breakfast, I’d sit on my own away from the guys with my cap over my head, because I didn’t know how I was going to react to having to go to the cricket ground again. I was waking up looking at the clock, hoping the clock had stopped, or that a pylon had fallen on the field and the game had been cancelled, or the stadium had collapsed – as long as there was no one in it, of course. You end up thinking of all sorts of ways you wouldn’t have to go to the ground.” he has quoted to The Independent.

<p><strong>David Bairstow:</strong> Another English legend who had admitted that he was a victim of depression. He revealed that after his wife, Janet, had fallen ill, he was undergoing through severe mental stress. Also, he had financial troubles, which compelled him to push to alcoholism, as he was often charged for drunk driving. In 1997, he survived a tablet overdose, but hanged himself a few weeks later, owing to depression.</p>

David Bairstow: Another English legend who had admitted that he was a victim of depression. He revealed that after his wife, Janet, had fallen ill, he was undergoing through severe mental stress. Also, he had financial troubles, which compelled him to push to alcoholism, as he was often charged for drunk driving. In 1997, he survived a tablet overdose, but hanged himself a few weeks later, owing to depression.

<p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Marcus Trescothick:</strong> Seems like the English players have been on a severe receiving end of this. Former English legend, Trescothick, is a familiar name to most of the English fans, who was well known for his productive batting. Nonetheless, he had admitted to mental health issues while he was at the peak of his career, as he was under depression and had once returned home midway during India tour in 2006. Although he recovered later, he admitted that it was still not easy. “The depression’s not over. I’m not ‘cured’. I have good days and bad days, but when the bad days come, I feel them coming and I know how to act,” he had told The Telegraph. He even wrote a book on the same.</p>

Marcus Trescothick: Seems like the English players have been on a severe receiving end of this. Former English legend, Trescothick, is a familiar name to most of the English fans, who was well known for his productive batting. Nonetheless, he had admitted to mental health issues while he was at the peak of his career, as he was under depression and had once returned home midway during India tour in 2006. Although he recovered later, he admitted that it was still not easy. “The depression’s not over. I’m not ‘cured’. I have good days and bad days, but when the bad days come, I feel them coming and I know how to act,” he had told The Telegraph. He even wrote a book on the same.

<p><strong>Glenn Maxwell: </strong>The first and only Australian in the list, Maxwell is known for his stately batting. It was just last year when he had announced that he was taking an indefinite break from the sport, citing mental health issues, due to overdose of cricketing commitments. “I know there’s been times when I’ve been struggling and felt like it’s a little bit too much. It does take a toll on you mentally,” he had told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Later, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had praised the Australian for setting an example apart. Nonetheless, Maxwell is back playing since August this year.</p>

Glenn Maxwell: The first and only Australian in the list, Maxwell is known for his stately batting. It was just last year when he had announced that he was taking an indefinite break from the sport, citing mental health issues, due to overdose of cricketing commitments. “I know there’s been times when I’ve been struggling and felt like it’s a little bit too much. It does take a toll on you mentally,” he had told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Later, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had praised the Australian for setting an example apart. Nonetheless, Maxwell is back playing since August this year.