FRAME OF THE MIND
Pirate Kohli praises Glenn Maxwell's courageous decision to speak up and take time off from sports to tackle mental health problems © Getty
India's captain Virat Kohli praised Glen Maxwell's courageous decision to speak up and take time off from the sport to tackle mental health issues, and internationally-respected players should be able to communicate freely when not in the right place. frame of mind to be able to withdraw from the game.
Maxwell announced his midday amid Australia's domestic series against Pakistan, soon followed by Nick Madison running for Australia for the same reason. Both are backed by loud support from the cricket board.
While players around the world have made such a big step, no such thing has ever happened to the Indian team. Kohli emphasized the need for Indian cricketers to be able to make such calls – should the situation arise – and to be highly supported.
Kohli also went on to reveal his state of mind after his lowest tour in England in 2014, when he was not sure what was the right way forward and how the decision to take it would be made. Kohli has found himself on an absolute path in that five-match series, testing with just 134 runs to his name and a clear susceptibility to the ball moving away from him.
“I went through a phase in my career where I felt like the end of the world. In England 2014, I just didn't know what to do, what to say to anyone, how to talk, how to be honest, I couldn't say I didn't feel great mentally and I wanted to get away from the game because you never know how it goes.
"I think these things should be of great importance because if you think the player is important enough for the team and for Indian cricket to move forward, I think they need to be taken care of," Kohli said.
For such a big figure – perhaps the biggest at the moment – in Indian cricket to throw its weight behind such a delicate issue is a welcome thought, given the level of competition that players have to deal with every age group in Indian cricket.
"I am absolutely for it. To be very honest, you need to do work, we need to do work. And everyone is focused on what they need to do, so it's very difficult for anyone to understand what is going on in another person's mind, "said Kohli.
"When you get to the international stage, every player in the squad needs that kind of communication and that ability to just talk outside. I mean what Glenn is [Maxwell] has done it brilliantly and is setting the right example for cricketers around the world that if you are not in the best frame of mind, try, try, try. But I think as human beings you reach a turning point at some stage and you need some time to play.
"Not to say that you give up, but just to get more clarity and tend to take up more space, which I think is quite acceptable and a pretty nice thing to do. I think these things should be respected and not taken over in a negative way at all because this is happening on a human level, it has nothing to do with what you do on the field or not. Just not having the capacity to handle things anymore, which I think can happen to anyone, so I think should be taken to a very positive way, "he said.