Rested cricketers have different battles

Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski are taking a break from cricket for mental health reasons.
Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski are taking a break from cricket for mental health reasons.

Victorian cricket has three star players with three separate mental health issues.

Cricket Victoria operations manager Shaun Graf has laid bare the complexity of the problem while discussing Will Pucovski, Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson.

Maxwell and Maddinson are having time out of the game, while Pucovski now has ruled himself out of selection for the first Test.

On Thursday morning, Graf said the work with Pucovski is ongoing.

"Unfortunately, he's right on the cusp but obviously these issues are building up on him and he needs to have this time away," Graf told SEN.

Maxwell and Maddinson are having breaks from the Victorian team.

"From Glenn Maxwell's point of view, it's more a mental fatigue from playing cricket for so long. It's not so much anything else," Graf said.

"In relation to Nic Maddinson, he's got some issues off the field - from a cricket point of view everything is fine.

"As far as Will's concerned we're working through that issue and trying to get to the bottom of it.

"It is something that we're really looking at quite closely."

Victorian teammate James Pattinson said people cope differently and top-level sport comes with intense pressures.

"The way sport is now, you get put in the spotlight all the time and there's almost like a microscope on you," he said.

"We have three boys who are finding it hard and they're just human, like everyone else.

"Definitely for me, I will be putting my arm around Will and the boys and seeing if they're alright.

"I'm sure they're getting some great support."

Meanwhile India captain Virat Kohli has praised Maxwell, saying he has set an example.

Mental health is an issue rarely discussed in the sub-continent's cricketing circles, but Kohli said there should not be any negativity around it.

"What Glenn has done is remarkable," the 31-year-old said.

"It has set the right example for cricketers around the world that if you're not in the best frame of mind you try, and try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage.

"And you need time away from the game ... just to gain more clarity."

Kohli pointed to his own struggle during the 2014 tour of England, when runs dried up and he could not find a confidant.

"I felt like it was the end of the world," he said.

"And to be honest, I couldn't have said: 'I'm not feeling great mentally and I need to get away from the game'. Because you never know how that's taken."

He said there should be no problem with a player wanting time away from the game.

Australian Associated Press