Nic Maddinson pulls out of Australia A game against Pakistan due to mental health issues
Aussie batsman Nic Maddinson has withdrawn from the upcoming three-day tour clash between Australia A and Pakistan in Perth due to mental health issues. The 27-year old became the second player in recent times to drop out from a team in Australia due to mental health reasons, after all-rounder Glenn Maxwell opted out of the T20Is against Sri Lanka and Pakistan due to the same.
Cameron Bancroft will replace Maddinson in the day/night game against Pakistan.
Australia A coach Graeme Hick stated that the side was backing Maddinson and hoped that he deals with the issues to return stronger. Hick said:
"Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him. 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."
He also spoke about how the current crop of players are under tremendous pressure but said it was a positive sign that the players are open to discuss what they are feeling. Speaking at a press conference, Hick said:
"It is a concern in terms of the individuals involved, it's not a situation they wish to be in. There's a lot of pressure in the cricket environment at the moment. We wish them well, to us at CA, the players' welfare and them getting better and doing what they need to get better is the first concern. I was only told late last night about Nic, haven't spoken to him personally yet, so hopefully we get him back soon."
"In any cricket now there's a lot of expectations among the players, and how you handle it all, everyone deals with it differently. It's tough, it's professional sport, some deal with it better than others. I'm not in any position to judge or comment on it, I don't know a lot about it personally, I don't want to delve too much into it apart from that I feel for Nic, he's been in great form this summer and hitting the ball really well, so it would've been a great opportunity for him."
"There's a hell of a lot done. The states and CA have people involved in the set-ups to deal with whatever issues [come up]. I think what's great now is the fact that it's not taboo, people are coming out and speaking about it a lot sooner than they used to, rather than staying quiet until it's too late so to speak."
"The fact people are speaking about it more openly is certainly helping the issue. I feel a bit for the batters that are here, because there's potentially a Test match around the corner for them, so there's added pressure there, but that's all part and parcel of the pressure you have to deal with if you're going to play professional sport, so it is an opportunity for Cameron as much as it is for anyone else."
This is the second time that Maddinson has taken a break from the sport due to mental health reasons. He had taken a short sabbatical in 2017, not long after he had played Test cricket in 2016. Although he returned to play for New South Wales soon after, his performances dipped and he was not given a renewal of his contract at the end of 2017/18.
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However, he pitched in with consistent showings the following season after moving to Victoria. He scored 952 runs in just 13 Sheffield Shield innings' at an average of over 79 with the help of four hundreds, including a high score of 224.
In recent years, several Australia cricketers have come out in the open about dealing with mental health issues. Moises Henriques was the first player to go public, following which women's cricket Nicole Bolton also opened about her issues. Will Pucovski also needed time out from the game last year.