MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Just last month Nic Maddinson had struck a double century in the Sheffield Shield © Getty
Citing mental health reasons, top-order batsman Nic Maddinson has withdrawn from the Australia A squad that is to play a tour game against Pakistan – a three-day Day-Night fixture starting from November 11 in Perth ahead of the two-Test series starting on November 21. Maddison will now be replaced by Cameron Bancroft in a line-up that boasts of many big-name Aussie players looking to audition for the Test series.
Cricket Australia’s EGM of National Teams Ben Oliver threw his support behind the 27-year-old. “The wellbeing of our players is always our primary concern,” Oliver said. “We are proud that our players are comfortable to speak honestly and openly about how they are feeling. We will provide Nic with all the support and care we can and wish him a full and speedy recovery. We also ask that Nic’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Australia A coach Graeme Hick weighed in too, lauding Maddinson’s brave decision to speak up. “Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him,” Hick said. “It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first. While saddened to see Nic stand down, we welcome Cam Bancroft to the Australia A XI. Cam is obviously no stranger to quality international bowling and the Perth Stadium wicket. We have no doubt he will fit well into the team,” Hick said.
Just last month, Maddinson displayed immaculate form for Victoria, smashing a double century in the drawn fixture against South Australia in their Sheffield Shield campaign opener. Less than a fortnight ago, his Victoria teammate Glenn Maxwell too took a mental-health related sabbatical from the game that saw him leave mid-series against Sri Lanka.
Cricket Australia’s Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris spoke of the board’s commitment to the players’ mental well-being and their commitment to provide better support to the distressed.
” Mental health is a challenge faced by Australian communities and elite sporting organisations and cricket is no different. Like other professional sports we are working very hard to better understand the challenges faced by our players and staff so we can support them,” Kountouris said.
“We are all proud to work in an industry where players can feel safe to talk about these issues. It goes without saying that we offer all our players the support they need in the difficult times but importantly we are working on education, resourcing and research to better understand how we do this,” he added.