Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said being constantly on the road for the past few years had mentally and physically ruined him, forcing him to take a break in October to deal with mental health.
Maxwell had opted out of Australia’s T20I series against Sri Lanka after playing the first two matches to address his mental health. His decision came days after he hammered a 28-ball 62 in Australia’s massive 134-run win in the opening Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. He did not get to bat in the second match.
“I was pretty cooked when I decided to take the time off. Big reason why I did take that time away is I was pretty mentally and physically ruined,” Maxwell was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I think it was eight months on the road, living out of a suitcase and that probably had been going on for four or five years, just constantly on the road and it all just caught up with me at that time.”
“I really want to thank Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and the Stars for giving me that space and allowing me to have that time away from the game and get myself right.”
Maxwell said it was his partner, who first noticed the change in him.
“It was actually my partner who suggested I speak to someone, she was the first one who noticed it, so I should thank her as well. Once I had that initial conversation it was a big weight off my shoulders,” he said.
“My girlfriend was probably No 1, it wasn’t an easy job for her to deal with me going through my mood swings for the first few weeks, but Michael Lloyd (Australia’s team psychologist) was the guy I had the initial conversation with, he’s been someone who I’ve confided in since back in the academy days, so I’ve known him for well over a decade now.”
On a comeback trail now, the 31-year-old will make his domestic cricket return, captaining Melbourne Stars in their opening Big Bash match later this month. Maxwell said he will try to manage his playing commitments better and also be more careful of his self-expectations in the remainder of his career.
“I did put a bit of pressure on myself to try and play as much as I could this year and, rightly or wrongly, I didn’t come out of it the way I thought I was going to. I’ll have a look at that next year,” Maxwell said.
“A holiday was actually spending time at home. I spent as much time at home as I could with friends and family. I tried to stay fit, and I still watched a fair bit of cricket over that time, but pretty exciting to get going now.
“I look at it a little bit differently, a little bit more respect for taking care of myself in all aspects of the game and not losing sight of taking care of myself in those times where you’re in a hotel room pretty constantly and being able to have that time to myself and refresh,” he added.
Maxwell is expected to attract a good bid at the upcoming IPL auction and is one of the seven overseas stars to be listed at a base price of Rs 2 crores.