Kohli applauds example set by Maxwell, Pucovski
The Indian captain says he can relate to cricketers who opt to take time away from the sport to focus on their mental health
14 November 2019, 10:01 AM AEST
Australian cricketers have set an important example to their peers by taking a break from the game to address mental health issues, according to India captain Virat Kohli.
Three prominent Victorians have recently stepped away from professional cricket, with Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski all opting to instead spend time focusing on their mental wellbeing.
Speaking directly about Maxwell’s absence, Kohli believes there should be no negativity around such situations, despite the issue rarely being discussed in the sub-continent's cricketing circles.
"I think what Glenn has done is remarkable," the 31-year-old told reporters on the eve of India's opening test against Bangladesh that begins on Thursday.
"It has set the right example for cricketers around the world that if you're not in the best frame of mind you try, and try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage or the other.
"And you need time away from the game. Not to say you give up, but just to gain more clarity."
Kohli pointed to his own struggle during the 2014 tour of England when runs dried up and he could not find anyone to confide in.
"I've gone through a phase in my career where I felt like it was the end of the world," he said.
"In England 2014, I didn't know what to do, what to say to anyone, and how to speak and how to communicate. And to be honest, I couldn't have said: 'I'm not feeling great mentally and I need to get away from the game'. Because you never know how that's taken."
It should be fine for cricketers to take a break and try and return refreshed, he said.
"I'm absolutely for it...these things should be of great importance. Because if you think that a player is important enough for the team or for Indian cricket to go forward, I think they should be looked after.
"I think is quite acceptable and quite a nice thing to do. I think these things should be respected and not taken in a negative way at all because this is happening at a human level..."
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Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: TBC
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
Warm-up match: v Australia A, November 11-13, Perth Stadium (d/n)
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 15-16, WACA Ground
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba (Seven, Fox & Kayo)