In the recent past, athletes have come out in the open to talk about mental health. With respect to women’s cricket, some of the players like Australia’s Sophie Molineux and New Zealand’s duo of Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine had taken breaks from cricket in order to concentrate on their mental health and well-being. Just ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup which starts from March 4 in New Zealand, Australia’s young fast bowler Hannah Darlington has withdrawn from the competition citing mental health reasons.
The 20-year old right-arm quick was selected as one of the reserves in Australia’s World Cup squad and will now be replaced by Heather Graham. Darlington made her international debut in 2021 against India in the multi-format series that was played in September-October and has featured in two ODIs and as many T20Is for Australia. She has 2 ODI wickets to date. She was also a part of the Women’s Ashes, a competition that is played between Australia and England. Australia have retained the Women’s Ashes, however Darlington did not get a chance to play in the starting XI.
The right arm speedster has had a busy summer prior to the Women’s Ashes. In the absence of Rachael Haynes, she captained Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) that was played in October-November last year. Under her able aegis, Sydney Thunder managed to win four out of the 14 matches. Though she did not have a great stint as the captain, she had a wonderful outing with the ball as she picked up 16 wickets in 13 matches and was the joint fifth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with Alana King.
Wouldn’t have been an easy decision to opt-out of the World Cup tournament.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 8, 2022
In February 2021, Darlington created history as she became the youngest player to captain New South Wales (NSW) in its 165-year rich history. She led NSW during one of the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) matches. The match was played against Tasmania and it ended in a tie.
Just like the aforementioned women cricketers who took a break from cricket for mental health reasons and came out strong, expect Hannah Darlington to come out all guns blazing after the hiatus.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.