Australia batsmen Steve Smith welcomes conversations about cricketers' mental health

Australian batsman Steve Smith is glad that the mental health of cricketers is in focus after some of his compatriots took breaks to deal with their issues, which he feels, are compounded by "hectic" playing schedules.

Press Trust of India, Nov 18, 2019 18:20:36 IST

Brisbane: Premier Australian batsman Steve Smith is glad that the mental health of cricketers is in focus after some of his compatriots took breaks to deal with their issues, which he feels, are compounded by "hectic" playing schedules.

Australia batsmen Steve Smith welcomes conversations about cricketers mental health

File image of Steve Smith. AP

Star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and the lesser-known Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski announced breaks from international cricket to deal with their mental issues and got support from Cricket Australia.

"It is a pretty hectic schedule nowadays," Smith was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"It's bloody tough to sustain it for long periods of time, particularly I think for the fast bowlers. It's extremely difficult what they put themselves through. It's great that those conversations are happening and we're trying to keep guys as mentally and physically fresh as they can be," he said.

India captain Virat Kohli had also touched on the subject, lauding Maxwell for his admission and recalling the time he struggled with "end of the world" thoughts.

Smith said in the Australian dressing room players are now notifying details of their sleeping patterns and stress levels to the team management, helping in a better understanding of their well being.

"We fill out daily how we're feeling, how we slept... the sleep gets a big red every now and again. We fill out a wellness thing every day. The coach and psych (psychologist) and head of team performance look at our markers daily and it's upon us to be honest in the way we go about that as well," he said.

"If there's a change in behaviour, if you're feeling ill or not sleeping well or feeling a bit off, they're aware of it. That can sort of start a conversation. Why is your sleep bad?"

"What's going on? Why are you feeling a bit off today? It's good that they do that. It's good for guys' mental health and well being as well," he added.

The former captain was also asked about the suspension of his former Caribbean Premier League teammate Nicholas Pooran for ball-tampering. Having endured a one year ban himself, Smith hoped that the West Indian would learn from the four-match suspension.

"Everyone is different, every board is different, and the way they deal with certain issues. For me, I copped it on the chin... it is what it is. I know Nicholas, I've played a bit of cricket with him and he's a talented player and someone with a bright future," Smith said.

"I think he'll learn from his mistake and move past it," he added.

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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2019 18:20:36 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
6 New Zealand 6056 252