Madhya Pradesh batsman Aryaman Birla revealed his decision to take an ‘undefined sabbatical’ from cricket owing to anxiety related issues. The 22-year-old made the admission on his Instagram account, vowing to ’emerge from this phase even stronger than before’.
“It’s been a journey of hard work, perseverance, dedication and immense courage to get to this point in my cricket career. However, I’ve been coping with severe anxiety related to the sport for a while now,” he wrote.
Aryaman, son of one of India’s richest man – industrialist Mangalam Birla – has played age-group cricket for Madhya Pradesh before first making it to the senior Ranji side and debuting in 2017 as a 20-year-old. He has featured in first-class games since – with the last one coming in January this year. Aryaman felt he’d pushed himself through all this while but felt now was the time to put his mental health at the top of his priority list. It comes at a time when more cricketers seem to be opening up to the possibility that they need time away from the game to deal with this kind of illness – the latest being Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.
“I felt trapped. I’ve pushed myself through all the distress so far, but now I fee the need to put my mental health and well-being above all else. And so, I’ve decided to take an undefined sabbatical from cricket. This lovely sport is an integral part of my life and I hope to be back on the field when the time is right,” Aryaman wrote.
Aryaman had the spotlight shining on him when he was bid for and prised away in the IPL player auction in 2018 – Rajasthan Royals paying INR 30 Lakh for his signature. He didn’t get any game time and was later released/
“We all have our own journeys and I want to take this time to understand myself better, open my mind to new and varied perspectives and seek purpose in my findings.