Youngster Will Pucovski has ruled himself out of the selection for Australia’s upcoming Test series against Pakistan due to his issues related to mental health, Cricket Australia confirmed the news on Thursday.
The 21-year-old batsman is the third Australian cricketer who has opened up about this matter and also reported mental health problems to staff within just over two weeks. His news came after the former batsman Nic Maddinson and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell both talked about this and also took breaks from the game.
Uncapped Will Pucovski was considered as one of the players to be named in the Australia squad for the upcoming two-test series against Pakistan. He, however, reported his issue to team management in Perth where he was playing for Australia A against Pakistan. He scored only 5 runs in the first innings and did not get the chance to bat in the second.
Will Pucovski, who smashed 243 for Victoria in a Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia last year, has also taken a break of six-week from cricket earlier because of the same issues. He even left the Australia squad too which played Sri Lanka this year for the same reason.
However, Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s (CA) EGM of National Teams, told Australian cricket would always look after the wellbeing of the people ahead of the performance.
”We applaud Will for having the courage to discuss his situation with team management,” he 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.”
Meanwhile, with these, Australia’s player management regime has come under the scanner. Former player Shane Watson, who was announced as president of the Australian Cricketers’ Association this week, told that mental health was a “huge” focus for the players’ union and they had also been collaborating with CA on mental health strategies as well.
On the other hand, Australia have announced their 14-member squad for the upcoming test series against Pakistan. Opener Marcus Harris has been left out from the Test squad and replaced by Queensland batsman Joe Burns for the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan.
Alongside Harris, Usman Khawaja and Peter Siddle have been left out. But Cameron Bancroft has also been recalled in the squad. The series will begin from November 21 in Brisbane.
Squad: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Bancroft, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Michael Neser