• Pucovski suffered mental-health issues

    Batsman Will Pucovski took a brief break from competitive cricket due to mental health-related issues before being named in Australia’s squad for late January and early February 2019’s Test series against Sri Lanka.

    Pucovski struck a superb first-class double century for Victoria against Western Australia in mid-October 2018, but opted out of the rest of the month and November’s matches.

    He returned in early December, striking a solid 67 against the same opposition – and has since been included in the squad for two Tests against the Sri Lankans in Brisbane and Canberra.

    ‘It was one of those things where what it looked like from the outside wasn’t quite matching up with what it was on the inside. I was more confused than at any other time in my life,’ the 20-year-old right-hander told Fox Cricket podcast The Follow-On about the 243 against Western Australia.

    ‘I was 64 not out overnight if I remember. I got to the game to have my pre-morning hit in the nets and pulled one of the coaches, Lachie Stevens, aside and said, “look mate, this is what I’m going through. I don’t really understand what’s going on and don’t know why it’s happening, but this is what’s happening”.

    ‘It was quite a confronting thing, but they were beyond awesome about it. They were just so supportive from the outset. I still remember Lachie putting his arm around me and saying, “Mate, I’m shattered for you and we will get you sorted when you’re back, but if you can do anything to get us some runs today that would be great.”

    ‘I replied: “Don’t worry mate. I will be ready to go and will try my very best.” Obviously it turned out to be quite a good day.’

    Pucovski averages 49 after 13 first-class innings since February 2017’s debut.

    Photo: Getty

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