'Shocked': Former Glenn Maxwell teammate reveals social media abuse

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

John Hastings, the former Aussie quick and teammate of Glenn Maxwell, has revealed it was “only a matter of time” before the social media abuse the explosive batsman copped was going to take its toll.

Australia's coach and fellow players were rocked by the news that star batsman Maxwell is taking a break from cricket because of mental health concerns.

The star batsman admitted he wasn't OK and was struggling to enjoy the game.

"There's been a few times over the last 12 months where I've probably suspected that he's been battling a little bit," Justin Langer told reporters in Melbourne.

Glenn Maxwell (pictured left) and John Hastings (pictured right) celebrating a wicket. (Getty Images)

"The day before the game in Adelaide he didn't seem to have his normal zip and enthusiasm, although he still worked hard.

On Friday morning, his former teammate Hastings told RSN Breakfast that Maxwell took the social media abuse he copped “personally”.

“Over the years it’s been extraordinary to see just how much grief Glenn actually cops on social media,” he told RSN Breakfast.

“That’s one of the things with athletes now, it’s just so accessible to be able to have a pot shot.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: Glenn Maxwell of Australia bats during the Twenty20 International match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval on October 27, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Hastings referred to a moment in 2014 when Maxwell showed him the abuse he copped during a T20 match for the Stars.

“It was just absolute abuse that he copped,” Hastings said.

“I was just like ‘mate, you’ve got to get off social media, you’ve got to stop worrying about this sort of stuff’.

“I was shocked but this kind of thing was only a matter of time before it was going to happen. He takes things very personally and it’s a real shame that this has happened.”

Hastings said it was very brave of Maxwell to step away from the game and deal with his mental health.

Langer pleased with Maxwell decision

The Aussie coach admits that the public's perception of Maxwell, and other players for that matter, is often at odds with the reality of the individual.

"We saw how he played in Adelaide and we saw how he fielded (in Brisbane) but they often put on a mask.

"People in public positions have to put on a mask and that's the mask he puts on, that's his armour - his energy and the way he plays.

"He's the great entertainer, but underneath the mask I could probably just sense he wasn't quite right.

"... I'm pleased that he feels like he's got that trust in the environment to (talk openly) and he's going to do some work now to get himself right."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.