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Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb open up on mental health issues in cricket

Sporting News logo Sporting News 11/11/2019 5:45:00
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Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb have both opened up on the mental health battles that are currently facing Australian cricketers.

It follows Nic Maddinson withdrawing from the Australia A match against Pakistan to deal with his mental health concerns.

That came soon after Glenn Maxwell took a break from the game so he could work on the difficulties he had with his mental health.

Smith, in particular, has been very open about his struggles with mental health in the past.

After the ball-tampering saga, Smith toured schools around the country with Gus Worland and the Gotcha 4 Life charity. 

It was a partnership that he has continued to this day and he believes the recent events with Maxwell and Maddinson show why it's so important.

"Yeah look I think there's always pressures when you're playing international sport," Smith said at an event in Sydney on Sunday.

"I think it's great that the guys have been able to come forward and sort of ask for help and want to get better.

"That's why I do the work with Gus Worland and Gotcha 4 Life to create an awareness around mental health and particularly for young blokes to be able to talk about what they're going through and try to get better.

"You know it's a real issue in Australia mental health, and anytime that you can create that awareness around it then it's a good thing.

"I think the more you can talk about what you're going through and have a close group of people around you that you can speak about whatever you're going through, I think that's really important.

"That's the message I try to get out when I go to schools and talk with Gus Worland."

Victorian captain Peter Handscomb echoed Smith's sentiments on Monday, explaining just how difficult it is to be a professional cricketer.

"It can be pretty tough, cricket being a 12-months of the year game now," Handscomb said on RSN radio on Monday.

"You can see a bit of burnout starting to come into the players.

"It's hard to stay up for such a long period of time, so the stress comes in.

Handscomb is best placed to know about mental health struggles, with three big-name Victorian cricketers taking time away from the sport in the last year.

He believes it shows great strength for the players to recognise they need help and is extremely supportive of their decision.

"Credit to both Maddo [Nic Maddinson] and Maxy [Glenn Maxwell] to have the strength to step up and talk about it and say they weren't right and go and get the help that's required," Handscomb said.

"That just shows that both are really strong characters.

"I make sure that they know I'm available to chat to them at any time.

"But I just leave it to the professionals."

While the issue has been prevalent for some time, Handscomb believes the fact that more people are talking about it can only be a positive thing for the game.

"I think now we're just seeing because it has been talked about more, that players step up and recognise it's in the game and it's actually OK to talk about it and say you're not feeling right," he said.

"I think it's always been there.

"It's the fact that we can talk about it now that it (seems to) have become more prevalent."

11. marraskuuta 2019 7:45:00 Categories: Logotyp för Hockeysverige Sporting News

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