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Life of a cricketer can be extremely lonely & depressing, says Aakash Chopra on Glenn Maxwell’s mental health issue

Maxwell has taken an indefinite break from international cricket.

Glenn Maxwell IPL 2020 Auction
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When Marcus Trescothick withdrew from playing international cricket because of mental health issues, the idea was still not convincing for many. But times have evolved since the former England opener made the headlines. Recently, Australia’s batting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell decided to pull out of a busy cricket schedule to attend his mental health and it has been appreciated in many quarters.

Maxwell’s compatriot Chris Lynn has even said that he is proud of the former for assessing the situation and has realised that cricket is not the priority for him now. Maxwell scored a brisk half-century in the first match of the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka but pulled out ahead of the third and final game.

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Former India Test opener Aakash Chopra, a fine commentator and analyst of the game at the moment, recently took up the matter of cricketers’ mental health for discussion. Chopra took to the social media and highlighted about Maxwell, who turned 31 last month, taking an indefinite break because of mental health reasons.

Chopra appreciated Glenn Maxwell’s superb knock in his latest international innings (62 off 28) that included seven boundaries and three sixes. He then said people might be wondering how the Aussie cricketer who had a field day with the bat could be facing mental issues.

In a video that he posted on Twitter under his programme ‘AakashVani’ featuring a long discussion on the matter, 42-year-old Chopra said the life of cricketers could be “extremely lonely, extremely depressing” while people might think that they live life king size.

“You might think that it might be very exciting as you are representing India, Australia, England, etc., you get to stay in five-star hotels, take first-class flights, millions of people are waiting to get your autographs so you can’t ask for anything better. But this is not the reality as sometimes you feel too lonely.

You treat your team as your family but sometimes, when you are really unsettled mentally, those issues cannot be shared with the team (your family away from home) as you do not want to disturb them. You have a good camaraderie with them and share a good bond with them but, there are things that you do not wish to share with them and that’s what leads to further problems”, Chopra said.

CA has backed Glenn Maxwell

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) team psychologist Michael Lloyd said the Melbourne cricketer has been experiencing difficulties related to mental health and as a result will spend some time away from the game now. He said the cricketer took an initiative to identify the issues and engage with the support staff members.

It was also learnt that CA will work closely with Cricket Victoria’s support staff members to ensure Maxwell makes a smooth comeback into the game. Glenn Maxwell is a key member of Australia’s limited-over set-up and has scored over 4.4k runs in 110 ODIs and 61 T20Is. He also has 76 wickets in limited-overs cricket.

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