Australia superstar Glenn Maxwell has thrown light on his mental struggles, revealing he wished for his arm to be broken so as to get break from international cricket. Maxwell took a short break from competitive cricket last October citing an ongoing struggle with mental health drawing widespread support including India captain Virat Kohli. Also Read - Steve Smith Opens up About His Unusual Batting Technique, Says 'His Unorthodox Stance is Just a Method to Limit Ways of Getting Out'
During a net session at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England, both Maxwell and teammate Shaun Marsh copped blows and were taken to hospital for examination. Also Read - Australia Cricketers Became 'Too Scared to Sledge Virat Kohli' to Save IPL Contracts: Michael Clarke
“I knew he (Marsh) was in trouble when he came in, and immediately I felt bad for him,” Maxwell told the Ordineroli Speaking podcast. “I just thought I hope he’s OK, and if anything, I wish we could swap our news (a suspected broen arm).” Also Read - Need Spin-Friendly Conditions in Australia if we Really Want to Win Series in India: Steve O'Keefe
He continued “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.”
His on-field performances led to a fall in confidence so much so that he stopped enjoying the game he loved since childhood.
Despite the mindset Maxwell was dealing with, the 31-year-old continued putting up a brave face and took field during the T20I home series against Sri Lanka. He blasted 28-ball 62 and effected a run out during the series opener but pulled out before the third and final T20I as the hosts completed a 3-0 clean sweep.
“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,” Maxwell said of his decision. “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. You’re taking down an international attack and just not enjoying any bit of it.”
He continued, “I was about to announce it to the group, they had no idea what was going on, I didn’t even tell (Aaron) Finchy. 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’.”
However, once he had made the call, Maxwell couldn’t take it anymore and broke down into tears.
“Once everyone left, I broke down into tears, it was more…that was the first time I showed any emotion…since the World Cup. 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.
Maxwell has since returned to competitive cricket, captaining Melbourne Stars in the BBL 2019-20 and was named in the tam of the tournament.