Australia spinner Nathan Lyon backs Nic Maddinson and Glenn Maxwell after mental health breaks

He has not played a Test since then but had worked his way back into contention by averaging nearly 80 for his adopted state and posting a double century against South Australia to start the Sheffield Shield season.

“I think it’s unbelievable that players feel confident enough to come out and speak about it,” Lyon said. “Throughout the whole society we’re all very aware of how dangerous mental issues are, so I’m all for Nic and Glenn and these guys coming out and speaking about it.

“If they need help, then they’ve got us in their corner and they’ve got enough support from Cricket Australia and the ACA, which we’re very lucky to have as professional sportspeople. I really hope Nic and Glenn, the last two guys who have come out and spoken, hopefully, they’re tracking OK. Hopefully, they’ll be back out there playing cricket sooner rather than later.”

Maddinson and Maxwell are not isolated cases. NSW all-rounder Moises Henriques went public on his struggles with mental illness last summer and Victoria youngster and Test contender Will Pucovksi was released from the Test squad in February for mental health reasons.

“Professional sport has a different element with the pressures of the media and social media and the expectations,” Lyon said. “But I think it’s just that crucial and that great that people feel confident enough to speak about it and go and seek help.”

Lyon was speaking ahead of the Blues’ Shield match against Western Australia starting at the SCG on Monday.


Top-of-the-table NSW are aiming to win their fourth match in as many starts this season and have a star-studded line-up with the addition of Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc from Australian T20 duty. David Warner is being rested for family reasons but the Blues team includes nine current or former Test players: Smith, Starc, Cummins, Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Trent Copeland, Henriques, Steve O’Keefe and captain Peter Nevill.

“When all the Test boys get back here playing for the Blues it’s pretty exciting,” Lyon said. “There is a great feeling here in amongst the group and hopefully we can pass on a bit of knowledge, especially the likes of Smithy to the young guys like Dan Solway, who’s just made a fantastic hundred down in Adelaide. It’s a great opportunity for the young guys like Dan to learn off especially Steve.”


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