Former Team India pacer Praveen Kumar was known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, which really made it difficult for batsmen to face him. He played 84 international games for India, picking up 112 wickets, including 27 of them in 6 Tests. In an interview with a leading Indian publication, the former cricketer opened up about his battle with depression and also the moment when he wanted to shoot himself.
While cricketers are starting to speak of mental illness, Praveen Kumar said that he almost felt like the end of the world when his fame suddenly disappeared after been dropped from the Indian cricket team. He even spoke about his desire to shoot himself with his revolver. While remembering the whole episode, Kumar said that he set out in the car with his revolver on one of these winter mornings. It was the anger of being easily forgotten that did not go down well with him. He said that he couldn't handle the whole scenario and thought about killing himself but his eyes fell on the picture of his children, which actually stopped him from committing the act.
In his interview, Praveen Kumar also said that negative thoughts started creeping in him and he had had no one to talk to about his state of mind. He also quoted that during the counselling session for depression, he told the counsellor that he was unable to switch off from his thoughts. After his ouster from the Indian national team, Kumar failed to land a contract in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was even more depressing for him.
Back in 2013, Praveen Kumar was suspended and issued a show-cause notice by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a reported bust-up with an opposition player during a Corporate Trophy game in Bhilai. He was also suspended from taking part in the forthcoming inter-state Vijay Hazare Trophy matches.
Former India seamer Praveen Kumar had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in October 2018. Kumar made his international debut in the 5th ODI against Pakistan in Jaipur in 2007 in which he went wicketless from 10 overs and scored 12 runs. But he quickly rose through the ranks and became one of India's premier swing bowlers under MS Dhoni's captaincy, especially in the limited-overs formats.
Kumar played 68 ODIs for India in which he took 77 wickets at an average of 36.02 with three four-wicket hauls. The 32-year-old seamer also represented India in 10 T20 internationals in which he took 8 wickets at 24.12. In the IPL, Praveen Kumar has played for four IPL franchises which include Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the now-defunct Gujarat Lions. He is one of 17 bowlers who have taken atleast one hat-trick in the IPL, which came against the Rajasthan Royals in 2010.