Will Pucovski released from Australia squad for Tests against Sri Lanka to manage mental health

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Will Pucovski has been released from the Australian Test squad to allow him to best manage his mental wellbeing, marking the second such break for the young star.

The Victorian, who turns 20 today, took a break from cricket in October for similar reasons.

That break came just after he scored a stunning 243 in the Sheffield Shield against Western Australia, making him one of only nine players to score a double ton in the Shield before turning 21.

That innings vaulted him into Test consideration, and he was called into the extended squad for the current series against Sri Lanka, but ultimately missed out on a spot in the final XI.

Pucovski spent long periods before the second Test doing laps of Manuka Oval with a Cricket Australia (CA) staff member while other members of the squad trained on the field and in the nets.

After play on day one in Canberra, CA doctor Richard Saw revealed Pucovski had “reported some challenges” in recent days and he had been released from the squad so he could “return home to Melbourne to continue managing his wellbeing”.

Pucovski travelled with the squad to the nation’s capital but has now been released to return home to Melbourne.

“He reported some challenges over the past few days, and the decision has been made that the best thing for Will’s welfare is for him to return home to Melbourne,” Cricket Australia doctor Richard Saw said in a statement.

“Will has been proactive in this process and while he has made significant progress, he feels this is the best course of action to get ready to play cricket for Victoria.”

Saw said the decision to release him had been made in consultation with his family, Cricket Australia’s medical staff and Cricket Victoria.

“Will’s decision to speak up and continue to ask for assistance in managing his ongoing mental health is extremely positive,” he said.

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N Krishnamurthy