England’s ace all-rounder Ben Stokes on Friday (July 30) took an indefinite break from all forms of cricket to prioritize his mental wellbeing. Initially, Stokes will not feature in the upcoming Test series against India and he might miss the T20 World Cup 2021 as well.
Stokes' decision to take care of his mental health has been backed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Amid the development, former India U-19 World Cup-winner Shreevats Goswami posted a tweet, doubting if any Indian cricketer would dare to speak up about mental health.
"With Ben Stokes & other athletes/cricketers now taking breaks for #mentalhealth & their well-being (rightly so) I wonder if any of us in india would ever dare to speak up,kyuki “log kya kahenge”(how will people react).In fact this is still a taboo in to talk about it," Goswami wrote.
“Reasons why athletes in india don’t take #mentalheath or #wellbeing breaks 1. Unaware of mental health issue . Pressure is absolutely OK , stress is NOT . 2. Too much competition , if you take a break your spot will be taking by someone else . 3. Still a taboo in India to speak up,” he further stated.
“4. Even if one does , being called names (soft , not interested , can’t take pressure , no focus , interested in other things ) 5. Most people still think ki ,Aisa kuch hota bhi hai ? 6.Perceived as a weak player/individual (can’t handle pressure) 7. Being subjected to trolls,” he continued.
Two days, India’s current skipper Virat Kohli had also spoken about dealing with mental health issues during the 2014 tour to England.
“You know when you get to the international stage, every player that’s in the squad needs that communication – that ability to speak out. I think what Glenn [Maxwell] has done is remarkable. I have gone through a phase in my career where it was the end of the world. In England 2014, I just didn’t know what to do, what say to anyone, how to speak, how to communicate. I could have said that I am not feeling great mentally and need to get away from the game. But you never know how that’s taken," Kohli had said during a press conference in 2019.
Last year, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had also opened up on dealing with anxiety during his playing days.
"I felt anxiety for 10-12 years, and had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. Then I made peace with the times I was not able to sleep at night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable."