‘Felt Like It Was The End Of The World’

    • TNN
    • Publish Date: Nov 14 2019 12:51PM
    • |
    • Updated Date: Nov 14 2019 12:51PM
‘Felt Like It Was The End Of The World’

When former England opener Marcus Trescothick decided to return home midway through the tour of India in 2006 due to depression, it wasn't received well in certain sections.

Those days, people were not sensitive about issues related to mental health. For them, sportspersons were stars - they were popular, earned good money and travelled around the world. They had no reason to talk about the D word. These critics could not understand that life under the limelight can be tough, cruel at times, especially when the sportspersons go through a rough phase.

Recently, Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell announced in the middle of Australia's home series against Pakistan that he was taking a sabbatical due to mental health related issues. His compatriot Nic Maddinson also opted out of an Australia 'A' match, citing the same reason. It must have been tough for them to make this decision but the encouraging bit was that unlike in the case of Trescothick, both Maxwell and Maddinson got good support from the cricketing fraternity, including the fans.

India skipper Virat Kohli, while lauding Maxwell for speaking out, revealed that the lowest point of his career, so far, came during the tour of England in 2014, where he managed merely 134 runs in 10 innings.

"I've gone through a phase in my career where I have felt like it was the end of the world. In England 2014, I just didn't know what to do, what to say to anyone, how to speak, how to communicate. To be honest, I couldn't have said I am not feeling great mentally and I want to get away from the game, because you never know how that's taken," Kohli said during press conference ahead of India's first Test against Bangladesh in Indore.

Kohli had already established himself in the team and was touted as next big thing. But he wasn't sure whether to talk about it or opt for a break.

"I think these things should be of great importance because if you think that a player is important enough for the team and for Indian cricket to go forward, I think they should be looked after," he added.

It was heartening to see the country's biggest sporting star speak about the importance of mental health. "I am absolutely for it. To be very honest, you have a job to do, we have a job to do. And everyone's focused on what they need to do, so it's very difficult for anyone to figure out what's going on in another person's mind," Kohli said.

The competition for places in the Indian team is growing day by day. There's immense competition to get into domestic sides too. The players go through a lot and often underperform on the field due to anxiety and insecurity. They need help.

"You know, on the international stage, every player in the squad needs that communication - that ability to speak out. I think what Glenn has done is remarkable. He has set the right example for cricketers all over the world. If you are not in best frame of mind, you try, try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage and you need time," he said.

There is life beyond cricket and Kohli knows every professional goes through ups and downs. However, the need is it to recognize it and address it instead of staying silent.

"I think these things should be respected and not taken in a negative way at all. This is happening at a human level. It's about not having the capacity to deal with things, which can happen to any person in any walk of life. I think it should be taken in a very positive way," he said.


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Umme Ateeya SAI MODEL SCHOOL

Success of Virat Kohli is not just because of his physical but also his mental strength. He is a true legend. Greatest of all time.

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