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‘Thought of committing suicide’ – Shami reveals struggle with mental health

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

India paceman Mohammed Shami has revealed his struggles with mental health, saying he contemplated suicide as many as three times during a tough period off the field a few years ago.

Shami sustained a knee injury during the 2015 World Cup, and though he played on despite it during the tournament, he took nearly 18 months to fully recover from it. Even after returning to cricket, however, the struggles continued, as there was a raft of personal issues he had to deal with after his wife accused him of domestic violence, which the pacer denied – their legal battle is ongoing.

The 29-year-old said that was “the most stressful period” in his life. “When I got injured in the 2015 World cup, after that it took me 18 months to fully recover,” Shami told Rohit Sharma in an Instagram live session. “That was the most painful moment in my life, it was a very stressful period.”

Shami managed to put that behind him and return to his best form in 2019, but the fact remains that mental health in the sport remains an increasingly pertinent issue.

Former India pacer Praveen Kumar, in an interview with the Indian Express in January, revealed he had problems with depression after his career, while captain Virat Kohli has also spoken on the matter, saying he struggled after the 2014 tour of England.

View this post on Instagram

Trying out some sketches after years…how do you think about the “The Artist Shami”? ?

A post shared by Mohammad Shami , محمد الشامي (@mdshami.11) on

Shami said his family ensured there was someone with him throughout that period. “When I started playing again [after the injury], I had to go through some personal issues,” said Shami. “If my family did not support me, I would not have made it.

“I also thought of committing suicide three times. Someone used to stay with me 24/7, I was not well mentally. My family was there for me … if your family is there then, you can get through any situation. If my family was not there then I might have taken a bad step, but I thank my family for being with me throughout.”

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