‘Was hoping my arm was broken during World Cup’ - Glenn Maxwell opens up on battle with depression
The 31-year-old, who had taken a mental health break, recalled the nets session in July before Australia’s World Cup encounter against South Africa in which he and Shaun Marsh were both struck on the arms while batting.Updated: Mar 25, 2020 18:35 IST
Australia cricket Glenn Maxwell on Wednesday opened up on his struggles with mental health and said that he was hoping he had broken his arm during the 2015 World Cup so that he could get a break. The 31-year-old, who had taken a mental health break, recalled the nets session in July before Australia’s World Cup encounter against South Africa in which he and Shaun Marsh were both struck on the arms while batting. Speaking on the Ordineroli Speaking podcast with Neroli Meadows, Maxwell said: “I knew he (Marsh) was in trouble when he came in, and immediately I felt bad for him. I just thought I hope he’s OK, and if anything, I wish we could swap our news (suspecting Marsh’s arm was broken).”
He added: “We went to the hospital together and we were both sitting there, I think both hoping for opposite news. When I got hit, I was angry and a part of me was hoping (my arm) was broken.
“I was like ‘this is it, I just need a break’... I was thinking about things I could do on the way back to snap it. I had anger at other people and it didn’t make sense, but I was angry at myself for not being able to produce at all this World Cup. I thought it would’ve been an easy escape because I felt like I was going to get dropped at some stage and I thought maybe this is the way.”
He further talked about the Two series against Sri Lanka in October and recalled that despite a good showing with the bat, he was not able to enjoy any of it. “I batted so well, I got 60-odd off less than 30 (balls) and barely missed the middle...but didn’t really enjoy any of it,” he said. “You’re taking down an international attack and just not enjoying any bit of it.”
He further talked about the emotional conversation he had with Aussie coach Justin Langer as he decided to take a mental health break after Australia took a 2-0 unassailable lead in the series. “I was about to announce it to the group, they had no idea what was going on, I didn’t even tell (Aaron) Finchy,” Maxwell said. “I didn’t want them to be distracted by what was going on with me.
“I went over to him (Finch) and said ‘I’m done, I’m going to have a bit of time off’, and he said he noticed something was up. Once I told him, he was like, ‘brave decision, well done’.
“Once everyone left, I broke down into tears, it was more...that was the first time I showed any emotion...since the World Cup,” he said.
Maxwell further said that the following days after he stepped down were the toughest ones for him. “Those next two or three days were probably the worst I’d had in the next six months. As much as support was great, it was also so confronting...I wanted to go further into my little hole and not come out. I felt like I was letting a lot of people down, I felt like I was taking an easy-out, I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.
The right-hander returned to play for Melbourne Stars after a break and was named in the Big Bash League Team of the tournament after an impressive showing. He recently also got engaged to partner Vini Raman.