Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Pucovski, Maddinson set to return for Vics
Both players have been cleared to play after taking time away to focus on their mental health
27 November 2019, 03:28 PM AEST
Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson are set to make their returns to first-class cricket this week after being named in Victoria's Marsh Sheffield Shield squad to face NSW.
Both players have recently walked away from cricket to focus on their mental health and wellbeing but have received a medical clearance to return to state cricket.
Glenn Maxwell, the third male Victorian player to take time out of the game on mental health grounds this summer, has been involved with the Victorian setup but has not be named.
However, the allrounder played for Fitzroy Doncaster in Victoria's Premier Cricket competition on Saturday, taking 2-42 from 19 overs and making five not out against Geelong.
After making five in the Australia A tour match against Pakistan in Perth earlier this month, Pucovski withdrew from the match on the eve of first Test selection.
The 21-year-old has dealt with mental health-related issues in his fledging career and stepped away again to refocus his efforts on his wellbeing.
While Pucovski removed himself mid-match, Maddinson pulled out ahead of the 'A' tour match having started the Shield season in terrific form with 224 against South Australia and a half-century in Hobart.
But in recent weeks, Maddinson has been seen with his Victorian teammates before playing with St Kilda – and scoring a half-century – in Premier Cricket last weekend.
"We are looking forward to having Nic and Will back playing for Victoria after receiving clearance from our medical staff," said Shaun Graf, Cricket Victoria General Manager of Cricket. "We’ll continue to support all our players through their return to play."
Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch says player welfare comes first but no one case is the same.
"I think everyone's learning about (mental health) and it's a case-by-case scenario," Finch said today in Melbourne.
"It's not a hamstring injury that you can treat the same way for everyone.
"It's a really valuable lesson – the timings of things change case by case.
"It's a chance to make sure everyone is treated in the right way in their best interests and they get the best help."
Fast bowler James Pattinson, who missed the first Domain Test through suspension, has also been included in the squad in case he is not selected for the second Test in Adelaide from Friday, the opening day of the Shield round.
Finally, opener Marcus Harris returns after playing in the Australia A game at Perth Stadium.
Youngsters Jake Fraser-McGurk, who will play in the national Under-19 championships, and Eamonn Vines are the players to drop out from the squad that lost to Queensland in Melbourne.
Victoria squad: Peter Handscomb (c), Andrew Fekete, Aaron Finch, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Matthew Short, Peter Siddle, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain
If you or someone you know needs support, visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au/