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Glenn Maxwell opens up on mental health issues and depression

  • Glenn Maxwell revealed how he desperately wanted his injury to be swapped with that of Marsh to miss a WC match.
  • Maxwell made a successful return in BBL09, where he scored 398 runs from 17 games at a strike-rate of 148.51.
Aakash Arya
ANALYST
News
Modified 30 Mar 2020, 10:08 IST

Glenn Maxwell captained his team Melbourne Stars to the final of the BBL09.
Glenn Maxwell captained his team Melbourne Stars to the final of the BBL09.

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has revealed the psyche behind the anxious days during the 2019 CWC in England and Wales. Maxwell elaborated about the dark place he slipped into during the mega event last year before taking a break from all forms of cricket in October. He resumed training again around the first week of November.

The all-rounder opened up on the training session before South Africa game in Manchester where top-order batsman Shaun Marsh broke his arm. In a shocking revelation, Maxwell revealed how he desperately wanted his injury to be swapped with that of Marsh, which would have helped him to skip the all-important WC match. Speaking on the Ordineroli Speaking podcast, Maxwell said:


"I knew he [Marsh] was in trouble when he came in, and immediately I felt bad for him. I just thought I hope he's OK, and if anything, I wish we could swap our news [Marsh's arm was broken]... We went to the hospital together and we were both sitting there, I think both hoping for opposite news. When I got hit, I was angry and a part of me was hoping [my arm] was broken."

Maxwell explained that after all the frustration and anger, he needed a break from the sport to gather back the motivation to play again. He further added that not scoring as much as he would have like in the WC, definitely hurt him and in-turn made him angry. He said that after a string of poor scores, it was tough to maintain a place in the Australian side. Maxwell ended the WC with 177 runs from 10 games at an average of 22.12.

Against Sri Lanka in the home season before the WC, Maxwell smashed his way to a 28-ball 62. He even conjured a phenomenal run-out, but later revealed that he didn't enjoy any bit of it and needed a break.

"I was like 'this is it, I just need a break'... I was thinking about things I could do on the way back to snap it. I had anger at other people and it didn't make sense, but I was angry at myself for not being able to produce at all this World Cup. I thought it would've been an easy escape because I felt like I was going to get dropped at some stage and I thought maybe this is the way."
Glenn Maxwell scored only 177 runs from 10 games at an average of 22.12 in the CWC 2019
Glenn Maxwell scored only 177 runs from 10 games at an average of 22.12 in the CWC 2019

"I batted so well, I got 60-odd off less than 30 (balls) and barely missed the middle...but didn't really enjoy any of it... You're taking down an international attack and just not enjoying any bit of it."

Maxwell explained the difficulty he faced, mentally, on opening about depression and anxiety to the world and also his fellow teammates. However, he lauded the efforts of captain Aaron Finch about the way he took the news of him being in depression. Finch supported Maxwell's brave decision to step away from the game for a brief period.

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Maxwell said that he knew it wasn't going to be easier to leave the game and was later proved right, as he found the first few months to be the toughest. According to him, giving 100 percent was extremely necessary for an Australian cricketer, something which he wasn't able to achieve in the past few months. And therefore, wanted to leave the game for a brief period.

Maxwell played the Big Bash League, where he scored 398 runs from 17 games at a strike-rate of 148.51. He also captained his team Melbourne Stars to the final of the tournament.

"I was about to announce it to the group, they had no idea what was going on, I didn't even tell [Aaron] Finchy. I didn't want them to be distracted by what was going on with me. I went over to him [Finch] and said 'I'm done, I'm going to have a bit of time off', and he said he noticed something was up. Once I told him, he was like, 'brave decision, well done' 
"Once everyone left, I broke down into tears, it was more...that was the first time I showed any emotion...since the World Cup. Those next two or three days were probably the worst I'd had in the next six months. As much as support was great, it was also so confronting...I wanted to go further into my little hole and not come out. I felt like I was letting a lot of people down, I felt like I was taking an easy-out, I didn't know what I was doing."
Published 26 Mar 2020, 16:09 IST
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