Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has taken an indefinite break from cricket to deal with mental health issues.
Maxi, as he is popularly called, was participating in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, and will now miss the third game against the visitors that is scheduled for Friday. He had scored a fine 62 off just 28 balls in the first T20I that was staged at Adelaide, and was not required to bat in Wednesday's win over the Asian side.
Hard-hitting batsman D'Arcy Short will replace Maxwell in the T20 squad for the third game against Sri Lanka and in the subsequent series against Pakistan.
Maxwell was dealing with personal matters for the last month, and met with the Cricket Australia authorities on Wednesday night to discuss his decision.
“He’s a special player and an important part of the Australian cricket family. We hope to see him back in the team during the summer,” national team manager Ben Oliver said. “The well-being of our players and staff is paramount.
“Glenn has our full support. Cricket Australia will work collaboratively with Cricket Victoria’s support staff to ensure Glenn’s well-being and his reintegration into the game. We ask that everyone gives Glenn and his family and friends space; and respects their privacy at this time," Oliver added.
The decision by Maxwell has received unanimous support from everyone, with team psychologist Dr. Michael Lloyd stating, "Glenn Maxwell has been experiencing some difficulties with regards to his mental health. As a result, he will spend a short time away from the game. Glenn was proactive in identifying these issues and engaging with support staff."
Maxwell is the second Australian in recent times to have taken time away from the sport to deal with mental health issues. Will Pucovski had also taken a break last summer to deal with his well-being.
Short has played 20 T20Is for Australia in his career, hitting 592 runs at a strike-rate of over 120. His inconsistency and inability to play spin confidently meant that he was overlooked for the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, but he now has a chance to regain the faith of the selectors.