Up and coming Madhya Pradesh batsman Aryaman Birla has decided to take an indefinite break from cricket, citing anxiety issue related to sports. Birla, 22, revealed about his battle, on Instagram, hoping to emerge out of the situation stringer than before.

“It’s been a journey of hard work, perseverance, dedication and immense courage to get to this point in my cricket career. However, I’ve been coping with severe anxiety related to the sport for a while now,” he wrote.

“I felt trapped. I’ve pushed myself through all the distress so far, but now I feel the need to put my mental health and well-being above all else. And so, I’ve decided to take an undefined sabbatical from cricket. This lovely sport is an integral part of my life and I hope to be back on the field when the time is right.”

 
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Birla, son of industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, made his debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2017 as a 20-yer-old. He has also been through injury setbacks, with his last competitive game coming in January 2019. He was part of the Rajasthan Royals for the last two seasons before being released by the franchise last month without playing a single match.

Birla has played eight Ranji Trophy games during the 2018-19 season, scoring 414 runs with an inspiring century that helped Madhya Pradesh salvage a hard-fought draw against Bengal. His revelation comes shortly after Australia cricketers Glenn Maxwell and Will Pucovski too breaks from cricket due to mental stress.

“We all have our own journeys and I want to take this time to understand myself better, open my mind to new and varied perspectives and seek purpose in my findings.

“I would like to sincerely thank the MPCA and everyone who has been a part of this beautiful journey so far. I’d also like to express my gratitude to all those who have understood me and supported me in this quest of self-analysis. This phase has been difficult but it has also helped me realize who my real friends and well-wishers are,” Aryaman said.