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Pucovski, Maddinson named in Shield squad after mental wellbeing break


Nov. 28, 2019

Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson , who had recently taken a break from the game owing to ongoing mental health related issues, have been named in Victoria's squad for the upcoming Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales, starting on Friday (November 29th). Another Victorian batsman who opted out with mental health related problems, Glenn Maxwell, hasn't been named, although the 31-year old returned to cricket with a grade game for Fitzroy Doncaster.
Pucovski was expected to be named in Australia's squad for the recently concluded Brisbane Test against Pakistan. He was pencilled in to receive the Baggy Green cap, but withdrew on the eve of the squad announcement, with what is said to be a recurrence of the mental health issues that has dogged the 21-year old's career.
Maddinson, who started the season with a double-hundred (224) against South Australia and backed it up with a half-century against Tasmania, had also excused himself from the 'A' team that played Pakistan in a day-night practice game at the Perth stadium, but recently made a comeback in a Victoria Premier Cricket match for St. Kilda.
"We are looking forward to having Nic and Will back playing for Victoria after receiving clearance from our medical staff," said Shaun Graf, Cricket Victoria General Manager of Cricket. "We'll continue to support all our players through their return to play."
Welcoming the return of the two players, Aaron Finch, Australia's limited-overs captain, stressed that importance must be given to players well-being. "I think everyone's learning about (mental health) and it's a case-by-case scenario," Finch said in Melbourne today (November 27).
"It's not a hamstring injury that you can treat the same way for everyone. It's a really valuable lesson - the timings of things change case by case. It's a chance to make sure everyone is treated in the right way in their best interests and they get the best help," Finch added.
Australian pacer, James Pattinson, who missed the Brisbane Test after being banned for one Test has also been named in the squad, although his participation depends on his release from the Test team. Marcus Harris, who missed the last game on account of Australia 'A' duty also returns. Victoria, the defending Shield champions, have had a tough start this season, and are currently languishing at the bottom of the table, with 5 points from three games.
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