I Just Hated To Be Part Of The Game: Tim Paine Opens Up On His Mental Breakdown Period

I Just Hated To Be Part Of The Game: Tim Paine Opens Up On His Mental Breakdown Period

Tim Paine, Australia national cricket team, mental health
Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Injuries may cause a mental breakdown for a cricketer because they can beset his career. The player has to go under a recovery period for months or it can be year after sustaining an injury. During the break, he might be distressed about his comeback and can also lose his confidence. So, at that time, the player needs to be mentally strong and back his skills. Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine also went through an injury-plagued period of his career. He recalls that it was a very painful experience as he started hating to go on the field. 

Tim Paine made the debut for the Australian team in T20Is and ODIs in September 2009. He instantly cemented his place after scoring a century against England in his debut series.

Subsequently, he earned the Test call in 2010 against Pakistan. He became the first-choice wicketkeeper for Australia but Paine sustained a finger injury the same year and lost his place from the team.

I just hated it: Tim Paine

Tim Paine, Australia
Tim Paine. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The current Test captain was absent for seven years from international cricket before earning a recall in the 2017 Ashes series after Matthew Wade sustained injury. But during the break, he struggled to rediscover his confidence and form. He had sleepless nights and faced difficult to score runs in domestic cricket. 

“I got to the stage where I was scared of getting hit, and I just had no idea what I was going to do,” he told a new podcast series aimed at promoting well-being and good mental health. 

“Instead of watching the ball I was thinking about getting hit or what might happen. When you’re doing that the game becomes very difficult. I couldn’t score runs for an extended period of time. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I was so nervous before games. I was horrible to live with,” he said

 “When it came to my part in the game I just hated it.”

Tim Paine recovered after consulting a psychologist:

Mitchell Starc, Tim Paine, Australia vs India 2018/19
Tim Paine Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Tim Paine was unable to share his struggle even with his wife but he began to recover after confiding in a sports psychologist at Cricket Tasmania. 

“I remember times when I would be sitting at home, she’d be at work, and I would literally be sitting on the couch, not bawling my eyes out but I’d be crying,” he added. 

“It was the first time I actually told anyone what was going on, but I remember walking out of that room and instantly feeling better, that I had let someone in and that was the first step to dealing with, admitting I needed help,” Paine concluded.

After surpassing all the hurdles, Paine is now a respectable figure in Australia after leading his countrymen to retain Ashes in England in 2019. He has, so far, featured in 31 Test matches, 35 ODIs and 12 T20Is. 

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