Virat Kohli's 'remarkable' praise of Aussie rival after mental health concern

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has thrown his support behind Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell, who announced last week that he would take time away from the game to concentrate on his mental health.

Describing Maxwell’s decision to go public with his struggles as ‘remarkable’, Kohli said Maxwell had set a standard players and cricket boards around the world.

Maxwell’s Victorian teammate Nic Maddinson has also announced he would step back from the game to concentrate on his own health.

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“I think what Glenn has done is remarkable,” Kohli said during a press conference ahead of India’s Test match against Bangladesh.

“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 or the other.

“And you need time away from the game. Not to say you give up, but just to gain more clarity.”

Indian captain Virat Kohli has thrown his support behind Australian rival Glenn Maxwell, who announced he would take a break fro the game to concentrate on his mental health last month. Picture: RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images

The superstar Indian batsman admitted to his own struggles back in 2014, when bad news felt like ‘the end of the world’ during a tour of England.

Kohli said he had been at a loss as to what he should do to deal with how he was feeling at the time.

“I’ve gone through a phase in my career where I felt like it was the end of the world,” he said.

“In England 2014, I didn’t know what to do, what to say to anyone, and how to speak and how to communicate.

“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.”

Maxwell, Maddinson step back from cricket

Maxwell met with Cricket Australia staff two weeks ago, and missed all of the T20 internationals against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"He's a special player and an important part of the Australian cricket family. We hope to see him back in the team during the summer," high performance manager Ben Oliver said.

“Cricket Australia will work collaboratively with Cricket Victoria’s support staff to ensure Glenn’s wellbeing and his reintegration into the game.

“We ask that everyone gives Glenn and his family and friends space, and respects their privacy at this time.”

Soon after Maxwell announced his intentions to take a break, fellow Victorian Nic Maddinson followed suit.

The Test hopeful withdrew from Australia A’s clash with Pakistan.

The Victorian batsman is pursuing his first Test match in three years. There has been no indication as to how long Maddinson will remain out of the game.

Former Test skipper Steve Waugh called for Maddinson to be included in the summer Test team, after a string of impressive performances for Victoria.

Australia A coach Graeme Hick praised Maddinson for having the courage to speak up about his issues.

“Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him,” Hick said.

“It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first.

“While saddened to see Nic stand down, we welcome Cam Bancroft to the Australia A XI.”