There is a thing about Indian cricket, it does not have humans, only Gods and demons who more often than not, are destined for the same end. Oblivion.
It’s not surprising, then, that when the cricket field ceases to be a player’s home – it creates a void that can never be filled.
Most people don’t talk about it, for comprehensible reasons. Some do. Latest being former India bowler Praveen Kumar.
In an exclusive chat with The Indian Express, Praveen shared how the end of his stint with the national team drove him to depression, which took him to the verge of ending his own life.
The article, written by Devendra Pandey and Sriram Veera starts with a life-altering incident for Praveen, who didn’t see much point in being alive until very recently.
A couple of months ago, he left home in his car, with a revolver by his side. After driving for a while, he stopped and thought, “Kya hai yeh sab? Bas khatam karte hain“.
However, a timely look at the picture of his ‘phool jaise bachche’ (flower-like kids) stopped him from doing so.
Today, Praveen is in much better place. Yes, the struggle continues but he is seeking medical help and talking about depression in athletes – a topic not touched upon that often.
An asset for the team at one point, Praveen’s career ended abruptly after he suffered from dengue in 2011. While he recovered eventually, his replacement had been found and from that point on, he couldn’t find any success at level of the game.
At nights, he wouldn’t be able to sleep. He’d think about the high of playing cricket and used to watch his magical spells which brought down even the mighty Australians.
The only discussion about him in the media was about some fight he had picked up or alcoholism. No one talked about his cricket and that bothered him a lot.
Trying to stand up on his feet again, Praveen is taking medication and when asked about his future, he smiles and says, “Koi nahin, PK phir waapis aayega“.
All that shiny glitter is not gold , being famous does takes a toll on you if you don't invest in your mental well being. So many stories nowadays about this and glad people are speaking up.https://t.co/Nq06sTMw6T— Tarun Garg (@Tarun_Garg2) January 19, 2020
I’m not much of a cricket fan nor do I follow any matches. But this was too real. https://t.co/lpJoqxrDKk— Makepeace Sitlhou (@makesyoucakes) January 19, 2020
A must read story for everyone. Depression is a disease which is considered as a taboo in India.— Monu prabhakar (@MPTMONU) January 19, 2020
I told myself, what’s all this? Let me just end my life: Praveen Kumar on struggle of sportspersons with mental ailments | Sports News,The Indian Express https://t.co/Jwb8uk5GIq
I told myself, what’s all this? Let me just end my life— Aman Sharma (@AmanKayamHai_ET) January 19, 2020
One of India’s best swing bowlers @praveenkumar speaks on struggle of sportspersons with depression
He wants to coach UP Ranji team for free, maybe @myogiadityanath can help him https://t.co/3M2nJwB3JP
Such a moving, necessary profile of PK. Spotlights the oft-ignored (“oh just move on”) dimension of mental health in the unforgiving world of Indian cricket: https://t.co/4BZUdZQXnb— Rahul Desai (@ReelReptile) January 19, 2020
All Praveen wants is, to be associated with cricket in some form or manner and we hope that happens soon. And while at it, we also laud his effort towards talking about a stigmatised topic with so much honesty.
To read the complete article, you can head to The Indian Express website here.