In the aftermath of Glenn Maxwell’s decision to step away from cricket to deal with mental health issues, India captain Virat Kohli has thrown his weight behind players going through such tussles, and highlighted the importance of keeping communication channels open for players to be able to express themselves without inhibition.
Maxwell stepped away from the game at the start of Australia’s home summer, pulling out midway through a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, despite having made a strong start and being firmly in the team’s plans for next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at home.
“I am absolutely for it. To be very honest, you have a job to do, we have a job to do, and everyone’s focused on what they need to do, so it’s very difficult for anyone to figure out what’s going on in another person’s mind,” Kohli said.
“When you get to the international stage, every player that’s in the squad needs that sort of communication and that ability to just speak out. I think what Glenn has done is remarkable, and it sets the right example for cricketers all over the world, that if you’re not in the best frame of mind, you try, you try, you try. But I think, as human beings, you reach a tipping point at some stage and you need some time away from the game,” he said.
Kohli recalled his own time in England in 2014, when he hit one of the lowest points of his career. “I’ve gone through a phase in my career where I’ve felt like it was the end of the world. In England 2014, I just didn’t know what to do, what to say to anyone, how to speak, how to communicate. To be honest, I couldn’t have said I am not feeling great mentally and I want to get away from the game, because you never know how that’s taken,” Kohli said.