Former West Indies legend Brian Lara has broken his silence about the importance of cricketer's mental health and has revealed that his career had suffered a downward spiral during 1995-98. Ever since Australia's Glenn Maxwell had announced that he would be taking a break from the game due to mental health issues, the matter has come to the light following which many other cricketers too revealed that their mental state of health was affected by the game and chose to take a break from the game. Will Puckovski, Nic Maddinson, Rachel Trenaman, Sarah Taylor were some of the players who took a break from cricket due to mental health issues.
The record holder for Tests expressed the need to pay attention to the mental health of the cricketers and urged for a more proactive role to tackle the same. Lara revealed that his career had been on an upward spiral in the initial five years of his international career following which his career went on a downward spiral since 1995-98 due to the pressure of being a double record holder. Lara admitted that the downward spiral had also led to the decline of the West Indies team, owing to the pressure that was exerted on them. Lara further said that the game was 'mentally draining' and that the mental health of the cricketers was something that should be stood up to and paid attention to.
"I remember on occasions where I lay in my room feeling the despair. It [mental health issue] is real, it is part of all sport, and it is coming to the fore now with a lot more aggression. Players are at least standing up and saying, 'I need to just remove myself, fight myself and come back again", Lara told PTI.
Cricket Australia Team Psychologist Dr. Michael Lloyd had said that Glenn Maxwell had been experiencing some difficulties with regards to his mental health. As a result, he was going to spend some time away from the game. He added that Glenn Maxwell was proactive in identifying these issues and engaging with support staff. Further highlighting the importance of the same, Virat Kohli said that a player should be looked after especially when you are playing at an international stage. He then praised Maxwell and said that what he as done is remarkable and it sets the right example for other players.
"If you think that a player is important enough for the team or for Indian cricket to go forward, I think they should be looked after. When you are at the international stage, every player needs that communication and the ability to speak out. I feel what Glenn Maxwell has done is remarkable. And it sets a right example for cricketers all over the world that if you are not in the best frame of mind, You try and try but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage or the other."