All-rounder Nat Sciver withdraws from England Women’s Vitality IT20 Series and Royal London Series against India to focus on her mental health and wellbeing; the 30-year-old left Durham today to return home
Last Updated: 08/09/22 8:09pm
Nat Sciver has withdrawn from England Women’s Vitality IT20 Series and Royal London Series against India to focus on her mental health and wellbeing
Nat Sciver has withdrawn from England Women’s Vitality IT20 Series and Royal London Series against India to focus on her mental health and wellbeing.
Amy Jones will take over the captaincy in Sciver’s absence, and a replacement player will be named in the squad ahead of the second Vitality IT20 at Derby.
Sciver said: “I’ve played a lot of cricket over the last nine months and I am very emotionally fatigued.
“Elite sport demands a lot and for the moment I’m not able to perform without compromising my own wellbeing, so I need to take some time away from cricket in order to focus on myself.
“It’s the right decision for me and it’s the right decision for the team.”
Director of England Women’s Cricket Jonathan Finch said: “We fully support Nat and her decision to step away from this series. Cricket is important, but it is wholly insignificant in the context of an individual’s health and happiness.
“The welfare of our players and staff is always our number one priority and we will support Nat throughout this period.”
Nat Sciver smashed three sixes in a row in the final set of deliveries before Southern Brave held on against Trent Rockets in The Hundred Eliminator
Ben Stokes on mental health, including his struggle with anxiety and panic attacks
Ben Stokes took a break from the sport last year to focus on his mental health
The news comes after England Test captain Ben Stokes kept the dialogue on mental health going after revealing he was still on anxiety medication after returning from a six-month break to focus on his wellbeing.
Stokes took a break from the sport last year to focus on his mental health as he was suffering from a series of panic attacks following the loss of his father to brain cancer almost two years ago.
The 31-year-old announced in July he would retire from one-day cricket citing the “unsustainable” rigour of playing all three formats of the game.
Stokes admits he did not know whether he would return to cricket following his struggles with mental health in the past few years
“I never thought I would be on medication to help me for that kind of stuff. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to say it because I needed the help at the time,” Stokes said in an Amazon documentary.
“But it’s not done just because I’m back playing. I still speak to the doc, not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process.”
Stokes said he felt deep resentment towards cricket due to a lack of support from some in the England hierarchy and pondered if he was “playing for the wrong people” because he had been unable to visit his dying father, Ged, who passed away in 2020 with brain cancer, as much as he wanted.
“So I had a real thing with cricket at the time I took a break. I was really angry at the sport because it was dictating when I could see my dad,” he told the Telegraph in an interview.
England captain Heather Knight has described Stokes as ‘hugely brave’ after the all-rounder opened up on his recent mental health struggles
Stokes began to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and stressed the importance of opening up about mental health, ultimately stepping away from the sport, adding it was not human nature to pretend to be fine.
“I find sometimes people are a bit nervous to go into the detail about that kind of stuff with me. It’s perceived you can’t feel a certain way – that’s a sign of weakness to show that you are not mentally feeling great,” he said.
“People think they can’t ask people who have struggled. No. It’s fine. I’ll happily tell you as much as I possibly can.”