Irish all-rounder Stuart Thompson has announced that he is taking an indefinite break from professional cricket to undergo treatment for performance anxiety. The 24-year old confirmed the news after withdrawing from a domestic fixture for North-West Warriors.

“I have realised it is in my best interests and everyone else involved in the squad and Cricket Ireland to be open and honest about my situation,” said Thompson, who has played 11 ODIs and 17 T20Is. “I have been struggling this season which culminated in needing a complete break from the game.

“With the backing of Cricket Ireland, I have received expert help and I now understand a lot more about my condition and how I can overcome it. I am now looking forward to practicing methods to manage my anxiety and hope to return to cricket very soon. I’ve the best team around me to help me through it and looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

The performance director of Cricket Ireland, Richard Holdsworth, is confident that the all-rounder will be back in action soon.

“Stuart is getting expert support which we are confident will get him back in the game soon. Stuart will continue to take a break from the game but hopes to be back very soon. We would again ask that he be allowed to recover in private for the immediate future.”

Thompson, who made his international debut in September 2013, has represented Ireland in 11 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 17 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

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    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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