Aussie cricketer Nic Maddinson pulls out on mental health grounds
Recently, Australian star cricketer Glenn Maxwell had taken an indefinite break from cricket in relation to battling mental health. That has paved the way for others to speak out. Another Aussie cricketer, Nic Maddinson on Saturday pulled out of Australia A's clash against Pakistan in Perth on mental health grounds. Here are further details on the same.
Bancroft replaces Maddinson for the three-day match against Pakistan
The decision effectively rules Maddinson out of contention for a berth in the Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan. Opener Cameron Bancroft will replace Maddinson for the three-day match against Pakistan at Perth Stadium, starting Monday. Meanwhile, Maddinson must be lauded for his decision to speak out and handle this difficult situation well.
'It's braver to speak up than to suffer in silence'
"Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him," said Australia A coach Graeme Hick. "It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first."
Several Test spots on offer as Australia A face Pakistan
Maddinson's withdrawal almost certainly rules him out of the opening Test against Pakistan in Brisbane later this month. This three-day match between Australia A and Pakistan is widely seen as a final chance to impress selectors. All eyes will be on Joe Burns, Travis Head and Will Pucovski to stake their claims. Also, Alex Carey is in frame to present his case.
CA working hard to understand the challenges faced by players
Alex Kountouris, Cricket Australia's head of sports science and medicine, said the governing body was committed to understand mental health. "Mental health is a challenge faced by Australian communities and elite sporting organisations and cricket is no different," he said. "Like other professional sports we are working hard to better understand the challenges faced by our players and staff so we can support them."
Maddinson had earlier pulled out in 2017 as well
Maddinson's withdrawal is the second time the 27-year-old cricketer has put his mental health first and stepped away from the game. Earlier, back in February 2017, Maddinson had stepped away from Sheffield Shield cricket. Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia's executive general manager of National Teams, said the player would be afforded all the time and support he needed to return to full health.
Recent cricketers who decided to take time out
Besides Maddinson and Maxwell, the likes of Pucovski, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk and Australian women's international Nicole Bolton are other recent examples of cricketers who decided to take time out from the game. It's a laudable fact that the stigma around mental health is continuing to evaporate. With more cricketers coming out, it is something that needs to be backed.
How did Maddinson fare over the past two seasons?
In eight matches for Victoria over the past two seasons, Maddinson went on to smash four hundreds, including a career-best 224 in their Shield season-opener earlier this month, for a total of 952 runs at 79.33. One hopes he makes a swift return.