Former Indian pacer Praveen Kumar has become the latest cricketer to open up on his mental struggles. Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell decision to take a break from cricket to cope with mental struggles triggered the discussions surrounding the issue last year. Former English cricketers Graeme Thorpe, Jonathan Trott and Marcus Trescothick, among others, have all opened on the trauma during their playing carers.
Indian captain Virat Kohli also talked briefly about the issue after Maxwell took a break from the sport.
In an interview with Indian Express, Praveek Kumar opened up on his mental issues. He even admitted that he wanted to end his life.
"I told myself, ‘Kya hai yeh sab? Bas khatam karte hain (What’s all this? Let me just end it)," said Kumar.
Kumar announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in October 2018.
He revealed that he is undergoing counselling to cope with his mental struggles.
"I had no one to talk to, felt almost constant chid-chidapan (irritation). As a fast bowler, I had to do a lot of thinking (to out-smart batsmen). I told the counsellor I was unable to switch off thoughts," said the former Indian bowler.
While many former cricketers, including Kumar's teammates like Irfan Pathan and Rudra Pratap Singh have taken to on-air commentary post their playing careers, the 33-year-old former Indian bowler has largely been away from public eye.
"I have nothing to do, I want to do something but I just can’t," said Kumar.
"I got the feeling everybody thought PK was retired, not free. Does no one know the Uttar Pradesh Ranji team doesn’t have a bowling coach? I should be with the team and not be sitting here in Meerut."
Kumar laments the fact that he didn't have a long Test career. Talking about his performance in England tour in 2011 (where he picked 15 wickets in three Tests), he said that he had been 'dreaming about a Test career'.
"I had been bowling so well. In England, everybody praised me. I was dreaming about a Test career. Suddenly, gaya sab kuchch (it was all gone)," said the former pacer.
Praveen Kumar represented India in six Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is, taking 27, 77 and 8 wickets respectively. He represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.