'Wanted to end my life' - Praveen Kumar opens up on his depression after exclusion from Team India

‘Wanted to end my life’ – Praveen Kumar opens up on his depression after exclusion from Team India

Kumar played 68 ODIs for India, during which he picked up a total of 77 wickets, with career-best figures of 4 for 31

Praveen Kumar (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Praveen Kumar will go down in history as one of those cricketers who failed to live up to the lofty expectations after making a big impact at the start of their careers. Praveen Kumar had become an overnight sensation in this cricket-obsessed country thanks to his prodigious swing. Indians fans cannot forget the 2008 CB series in Australia when he swung India to a historic win.

But things soon started falling apart. At first, he struggled with injuries and then discipline. And just when he would have thought of working towards making a comeback to the team, India found a number of quality pacers in the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav as well as Jasprit Bumrah. Unsurprisingly, Praveen Kumar fell down in the pecking order and eventually retired from the game in 2018 after he last playing for India in 2012.

But injuries and poor discipline record were not the only issue for Praveen Kumar. The ex-India cricketer was also fighting against depression as he found it tough to deal with the way his career panned out. In a recent interview to Indian Express, Praveen Kumar revealed that he nearly shot himself with his revolver.

Praveen Kumar also opens up on his drinking problem

Soon after being dropped from the Indian team, Praveen Kumar got into alcohol which might have played a role in his decline. But while he admitted that he drinks, he said that it is “blown out of proportion”.

“Please tell me who doesn’t drink,” Kumar said before adding” “People have spread this perception, I don’t know why. No one will speak about the good things I have done. I sponsor young children, I have arranged marriages of 10 girls, I help cricketers financially. India mein bas sab ek hawa banate hain log. Meri hawa galat banayi gayi. Hawa toh hawa hai, ek baar chal gayi toh one can’t do anything (In India, a perception is created. A perception was created about me too. Once that happens, one can’t do anything).”

During the candid interview, Praveen Kumar also revealed that he is partially blind and was even so during his playing days. He said that only Rohit Sharma new about it while he opened up on the problems he faced due to the ailment.

“I can’t see properly with my right eye. I was hit by a ball while playing junior cricket. I underwent treatment at a Delhi hospital. The doctor said they could do a transplant but could not guarantee return of vision and that things might become worse,” said Praveen Kumar as his father decided against the operation.

“If you have noticed my batting dismissals, I often got bowled by slower balls. It’s because I couldn’t see the ball. I faced the same issue with bouncers. I never had a problem playing length balls,” he added.

Kumar played 68 ODIs for India, during which he picked up a total of 77 wickets, with career-best figures of 4 for 31. In Tests, he picked up 27 wickets in 6 games.

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