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‘I was incredibly lonely’ – Sarah Taylor on her last years in international cricket

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Headstrong: An Innings With, Sarah Taylor explains the state of her mental health during her last years as an international cricketer.

Widely regarded as one of the most gifted wicketkeepers in the game’s history, Taylor, a two-time World Cup winner, took a year out of the game to manage her anxiety in 2016 before retiring from international cricket three years later for similar reasons at the age of just 30.

Speaking to Headstrong: An Innings With, Taylor revealed that she dealt with feelings of loneliness and anxiety throughout the last five or so years of her international career.

“I felt utterly lonely the last three years of my career,” says Taylor. “It probably began with all of that success a few years before because I then felt different again. I felt a little bit further away from my mates than I should have and I believe that was probably my own doing.

“In my last three years I was incredibly lonely. [I would] go to training, come back to my room, stay there all night, room service. Again, [I] avoided friendships, avoided people, avoided media, avoided expectation, tried to avoid cricket at times, avoided training.

“I say three years, it was probably four or five; I did take a break, didn’t I? I was incredibly lonely. Cricket can sometimes, unfortunately, lend itself to that. It’s quite apparent in the modern game given how long we are away. We don’t see our families. We’re obviously not away as long as the men are but we don’t see our families within that unless they make the decision to come on over.”

Elsewhere in her interview, Taylor goes into detail about her state of mind in the run-up to her decision to take a break from the game in 2016 following a personally challenging 2016 World T20.

You can listen to the full interview with Taylor on the Headstrong podcast, available to listen to on all the usual podcast hosting platforms. Headstrong: An Innings With supports the Ruth Strauss Foundation and is exclusively previewed by Wisden.com.


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