‘I was in a self-destruction mode’ – Glenn Maxwell opens up on mental health struggles

Maxwell hasn't played for Australia ever since he took time off from the game.

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Glenn Maxwell. (Photo by Wayne Taylor/Getty Images)

Back on October 30, 2019, Glenn Maxwell detonated the Sri Lankan bowling attack at the Adelaide Oval. The Victorian smashed 62 off 28 with Australia winning the first T20I by 134 runs. However, after the second game in Brisbane, the right-hander decided to take a break from cricket, citing mental health issues. Cricket Australia (CA) and head coach Justin Langer allowed him to take time off.

Going back to his challenges, Maxwell said that he felt like a lifeless cardboard with the demons strangling his mind. The 31-year-old said that he had switched on the ‘self-destruction’ mode and was letting his team down on a consistent basis.

Maxwell put forth the importance of some quality people in life whom one can turn to in crisis. For the swashbuckling cricketer, it was ODI and T20I skipper Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis. Maxwell opened up during a conversation with Cricbuzz.

I felt like a cardboard cut out of a cricketer: Glenn Maxwell

“I probably noticed it around September last year. When I finally came out in November so I probably held on to it for too long with that following me around. It wore me down and I forgot who I was as a person. I felt like a cardboard cut out of a cricketer who got put on a plane, on a bus, at a cricket ground and I just had to put on a smile and pretend everything was okay,” Maxwell said.

“Inside my mind, I was in a self-destruction mode. When I put my hand up and said everything was imploding in my mind, they were so good to allow me that time away from the game. Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis – I am close to these guys and we speak about this.

“You have to have a friendship and people who you can trust where you know they are going to have your best interest in their heart all the time,” he added.

Maxwell made his comeback for the Melbourne Stars in the 2019-20 edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). The Stars managed to end as the runners-up after a few of Maxwell’s knocks helped them win quite a few matches.

Maxwell hasn’t played international cricket since the home series against the Lankans. He is now set to ply his trade for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL), starting September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).