Former India captain Rahul Dravid said it was heartening to see top players speak about the mental health struggles they face while playing at the highest level.
Over the past few years several sportspersons, including cricketers, have come out, shared their battles with mental issues, and taken a break because of that. The latest one is Ben Stokes, who has pulled out of the upcoming India series and has taken “an indefinite break from all cricket” to focus on his mental wellbeing.
Rahul Dravid, who recently coached a second-string India side in Sri Lanka, underlined that huge pressure the players play under and that takes a toll on them mentally as well as physically.
“Mental health has been an issue in sport, and it has been an issue in cricket. And, it’s heartening to see there have been more conversations around this topic over the last decade or so with many players actually having the courage and the confidence to actually admit to having issues,” Rahul Dravid was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
“I mean, as you know, sport, and cricket especially can be, is a high-pressure environment and a lot of players, you know, play in that kind of environment,” he added.
In the past, people didn’t know how to react to it: Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid asserted that people didn’t know how to react to such issues. In fact, it was seen as a sign of weakness, he said.
Former England opener Marcus Trescothick was amongst the earlier cricketers who openly spoke about his troubles dealing with mental health. Recently, England’s Sarah Taylor retired from the game after her long-standing battles with anxiety; Glenn Maxwell took a break to recover mentally; even India captain Virat Kohli had aired his views regarding the same topic.
“In the past, it’s probably been a certain stigma associated with admitting to your weaknesses or your frailties or admitting that you have a problem was maybe people didn’t know how to react to it, they didn’t know how to deal with it but with the few players coming out and having the confidence to do it, I think there has been a lot of positive, a lot of more better conversation around the space of mental health in sport and especially in cricket,” the legendary batsman stated.