Another Australian player Will Pucovski has decided to become unavailable for the national team in order to focus on his mental health. The Victoria batsman has removed himself from Australia’s selection mix for the upcoming first Test against Pakistan. Will Pucovski was in contention to be named in the Test squad.
He made a strong start to the Sheffield Shield and recently turned up for Australia A in the three-day tour game against Pakistan at the Perth Stadium. Will Pucovski informed team officials on Tuesday evening he would not seek a position in the Australian Test side. His decision came on the day when Australia A suffered an inexplicable collapse and were all out for 122 after being reduced to 57 for 9 at one stage. The 21-year old could not make an impact either as he was out for just 5.
“We applaud Will for having the courage to discuss his situation with team management in Perth,” national teams manager Ben Oliver said. “Will’s decision not to nominate for Test selection was the right one in the circumstances and one that everyone in the Australian cricket family supports.
“Mental health is a complex issue that unfortunately impacts many young men and women in our society. By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental wellbeing,” he added.
This is not the first time Will Pucovski has decided to step away from the game to ensure mental wellbeing. Last year, he had pulled out of first-class cricket with Victoria at the front end of the 2018-19 season before withdrawing from the Test squad that took on Sri Lanka in January-February. He seemed optimistic about the manner in which he was managing his mental health.
“I’m going well,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of structures in place, which is really good. I can count on them when the time comes. It’s an ongoing thing that I’m trying to improve as much as I can, as often as I can.
“I’m really looking forward to the summer ahead, which is good and probably a different view from 12 months ago. When you compare the two, you go, ‘I’m in a pretty good place compared to where I was 12 months ago’, which means I’m doing everything right in that field,” he added.
Pucovski, meanwhile, is the third high profile name from Australia in recent days to take time from cricket on the grounds of mental health. Prior to him, Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson had taken the same decision and both are currently out of action.