Women’s allrounder Sophie Molineux, who represents Australia and Melbourne Renegades, is the latest cricket player to step away from the game to attend to mental health issues.
Molineux has played all 10 of the Renegades’ WBBL games so far this season, as she is inching to return to the national side ahead of the T20 World Cup. But she has withdrawn from Saturday’s Melbourne derby against the Stars at Eastern Oval in Ballarat in order to focus on her mental health and well-being.
She is following in the footsteps of her Victorian male trio Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski, all of them who withdrew from Australia and Australia A’s commitments for mental health reasons. It is, however, understood that all three men were suffering from different mental health challenges.
Australia and Perth Scorchers women’s batter Nicole Bolton stepped away from cricket last summer due to mental health problems. Renegades WBBL Head Coach Tim Coyle said they would give Molineux as much time as she would need away from the game.
Coyle said, “Sophie knows her teammates and the Renegades coaches and support staff are always there for her. We’ll give Sophie the time, space and any support she needs.”
Pip Inge, Australia Women’s Team Doctor, said that Cricket Australia will monitor her closely. Inge said, “She has made the decision to take a break from cricket, and we are giving her the support she needs. The welfare of our players is a priority, and we are proud of the brave decision by Sophie to step away from the game.”
CA’s head of national teams Ben Oliver told ESPNCricinfo earlier this month that the CA was working hard with both the men’s and women’s national squads to gain a better understanding of mental health issues.
Australian men cricketers spoke on the eve of the first Test against Pakistan about the importance of monitoring their own health. Makinley Blows has been brought as a replacement into the Renegades squad.