After recently taking breaks because of struggles with mental well-being, Pucovski and Maddinson are set to make a comeback in cricket. They have been named in Victoria’s squad for the game against New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield which begins on November 29th. Glenn Maxwell had also taken a break from the senior side in the middle of the series, and he hasn’t been named in the squad yet. The 31-year-old has, however, not been completely away from cricket and played a grade game with Fitzroy Doncaster.
Pucovski was anticipated by many to be named in Australia’s Test squad against Pakistan but he withdrew his name from contention on the eve of the announcement. The 21-year-old’s relatively short career has been battered with mental health-related issues.
Maddinson, who started the season with a double-hundred (224) against South Australia and backed it up with a half-century against Tasmania, had also excused himself from the ‘A’ team that played Pakistan in a day-night practice game at the Perth stadium, but recently made a comeback in a Victoria Premier Cricket match for St. Kilda.
“We are looking forward to having NicMaddinson and Will Pucovski back playing for Victoria after receiving clearance from our medical staff,” said Shaun Graf, Cricket Victoria General Manager of Cricket. “We’ll continue to support all our players through their return to play.”
Welcoming the return of the two players, Aaron Finch, Australia’s limited-overs captain, stressed that importance must be given to player’s well-being. “I think everyone’s learning about (mental health) and it’s a case-by-case scenario,” Finch said in Melbourne.
“It’s not a hamstring injury that you can treat the same way for everyone. It’s a really valuable lesson – the timings of things change case by case. It’s a chance to make sure everyone is treated in the right way in their best interests and they get the best help,” Finch added.
James Pattinson missed the Brisbane Test because of his suspension and has been named in the squad but his participation is contingent on whether he gets a release from the Test team. Marcus Harris, who missed the last game on account of Australia ‘A’ duty also returns. Victoria, the defending Shield champions, have had a tough start this season, and are currently languishing at the bottom of the table, with 5 points from three games.
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