Will Pucovski has requested to not be considered for Australia’s Test team. Picture: Getty
Will Pucovski has requested to not be considered for Australia’s Test team. Picture: Getty

Pucovski sidelined over mental health concerns

Will Pucovski has not been selected for the Australian Test squad to be announced today after requesting not to be considered as he deals with "matters pertaining to mental wellbeing."

The young star was in line to make his Test debut but notified Australian staff on Tuesday evening that he didn't feel ready for the opportunity - if it was presented to him.

It would appear Travis Head is the frontrunner to regain his position in the middle-order, with Cameron Bancroft another candidate, although Australia will name a 14-man squad later today, meaning a spare batsman could be included.

Pucovski follows fellow Victorians Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson as Australian players in the past fortnight who have taken a break due to mental health.

Last summer, Pucovski also took leave from State and national duties to focus on his mental wellbeing and has once again been praised for his bravery.

"We applaud Will for having the courage to discuss his situation with team management in Perth," said Australia's high performance boss, Ben Oliver.

"Will's decision not to nominate for Test selection was the right one in the circumstances and one that everyone in the Australian cricket family supports.

 

Will Pucovski was on the verge of making his Test debut last summer. Picture: Getty
Will Pucovski was on the verge of making his Test debut last summer. Picture: Getty

"Mental health is a complex issue that unfortunately impacts many young men and women in our society.

"By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental wellbeing.

"The most important thing now is for Will to be given the time, space and expert support that he needs to return to full health as soon as possible.

"I speak on behalf of everyone in Australian cricket when I say we wish Will the very best in his recovery."

 

Will Pucovski is regarded as one of the country’s most promising rising batsmen. Picture: Getty
Will Pucovski is regarded as one of the country’s most promising rising batsmen. Picture: Getty

Alex Kountouris, Australia's sports medicine chief said Pucovski will be well supported.

"There is much society still needs to learn in relation to mental health, but we know enough to say with great certainty that silence is not the answer," Kountouris said.

"Cricket Australia has committed to being open about the challenges faced in managing mental health. We are putting player wellbeing first and supporting them unconditionally. That's something we're proud of.

"Will has demonstrated great strength in being open about his situation. While no one wants to see a fine young man like Will confronting mental wellbeing issues, we are heartened by the fact he is surrounded by excellent people who will support him. We are all right behind him."

 

 

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