Though I don’t perform my umpiring duties in the professional game, I like to keep a check on how top level cricket deals with mental health.
Some former England players, Marcus Trescothick, Jonathan Trott, Monty Panesar and Mike Yardy have come out and revealed their struggles with mental illness. In the cases of Trescothick and Trott, they have took to print to highlight their battles, and excellent reads they are too.
Like in any walk of life, we are susceptible to breakdowns and struggles. We assume, just because they are professional sportsmen, and well paid, that they enjoy their lifestyle. That’s true to a point. There will always be a time when the enjoyment goes out of it. Just getting out of bed is an effort and going out and performing to a high standard with constant scrutiny, can break some.
That doesn’t mean they are weak. They are strong. Those individuals have hidden their battles for too long until they cry enough. They deserve our praise and our understanding of revealing that well used phrase “It’s tough at the top”.