Cricketer Glenn Maxwell to take break due to mental health issues

London: Australia's Glenn Maxwell during a practice session ahead of their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup match against India, at the Oval in London on June 8, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

SYDNEY, Australia: Cricket Australia says batsman Glenn Maxwell will take a break from the game to deal with mental health issues.

Maxwell, 31, started the Australian summer season in strong form when he hit 62 runs off just 28 balls against Sri Lanka on Sunday and executed a run-out from near the Adelaide Oval boundary. Australia won that match by 134 runs and the second on Wednesday by nine wickets, when Maxwell wasn’t required to bat, to clinch the three-match series.

Maxwell met with Cricket Australia staff on Wednesday, and is expected to miss the rest of the T20 internationals against Sri Lanka on Friday in Melbourne and against Pakistan in three matches next week.

Team psychologist Dr. Michael Lloyd said Thursday that Maxwell “has been experiencing some difficulties with regards to his mental health. As a result, he will spend a short time away from the game … Glenn was proactive in identifying these issues and engaging with support staff.”

Australia coach Justin Langer said he approached Maxwell before Sunday’s match.

“There’s been a few times over the last 12 months where I’ve probably suspected that he’s been battling a little bit,” Langer said. “The day before the game in Adelaide he didn’t seem to have his normal zip and enthusiasm, although he still worked hard.

“People in public positions have to put on a mask and that’s the mask he puts on. He’s the great entertainer, but underneath the mask I could probably just sense he wasn’t quite right.”

D’Arcy Short has been chosen as a replacement player and will join the Australian T20 squad on Friday ahead of the final Sri Lanka match.