Along with physical fitness, mental health has also been an essential factor in the performance of new age cricketers. Relentless schedules, intense public scrutiny, fear of failure have badly affected the career graphs of many crickets around the world. The issue grabbed a lot of limelight when three top players in Australia stepped aside from the game due to mental health reasons. Glen Maxwell, Will Pucovski, and Nic Maddison backed out of the first test series against Pakistan as they experienced issues regarding their mental wellbeing. The administration has not declared the specifics of the problem yet. However, Australian cricketer Ben Olive said that intense scrutiny and rigorous schedule are two important factors that affect the mental health of sportspeople.
Mental issues like anxiety, depression can rule the players out of the game as surely as an injured arm or a torn hamstring. As sports have turned hyper-professional, it has left no room for players to look after their mental wellbeing. Many players have not been able to sustain their growth, as they have not been able to manage performance anxiety. They find it difficult to fit into the bullying culture of media and the public. In the course of managing their career, they eventually lose the love for the game, which puts a full stop to their career at the end. High profile cricketer Greg Chappel has suffered a public mental breakdown in 1981 one-day international. Greg Chappel has been tremendously packed during that time. He has been playing 10 one-day international, 6 test matches, along with home and away Sheffield Shield and domestic one-day programs. Chappel’s breakdown was a surface indicator of darker and deeper mental pressure.
The officials of Australian Sports Science and Sports Medicines have said that they are devising ways to deal with the problem. They said that Australian cricket is committed to introducing means to help players with their mental issues. Providing sufficient relaxing time can be an effective way to address the mental health of the players. Counseling sessions can help players to fight anxiety issues. Players need to be away from the game for some time to gain more clarity. It is quite essential to maintain the mental comfort of sportspeople.