Time to Bat For the Blues?

December 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

As another year comes to an end many will take time out to look back on the past twelve months, while others will focus on what lies ahead.

One thing that lies ahead is the final test match of the summer against England, and Australia are going for a record third 5-0 whitewash, although the Sydney test match is being billed as the “pink test.”

This will be the sixth year that the Sydney Test match has taken on a Pink flavour as the players and Cricket Australia do their bit to raise awareness for breast cancer through the McGrath Foundation, named after former Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath’s wife Jane, who lost her life to the disease.

The Foundation was created to do two things: to fund the McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in younger women. It has done really well in both aspects and according to Cricket Australia in the three years that McGrath Foundation has been an official charity partner of Cricket Cares, over $1.5 million has been raised. Congratulations to all who have supported this cause.

Not the Footy Show would like to ask the question as to whether this should in fact become the “Blue Test” in the future?

It is a fact that in every test playing nation that cricket is played the suicide level amongst former top level players is higher than the national average. It is also well known that men tend to have issues talking about health, work, money or relationship problems, which can often lead to anxiety or depression. It is a very serious issue and one that few want to discuss, even though we need to.

In recent times we have witnessed two England cricketers forced to return home due to anxiety or depression related illnesses, Jonathan Trott and Marcus Trescothick. Other players have admitted to suffering depression, but that they did not realise it at the time, in Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison.

“Beyond Blue” is another great organisation trying to raise awareness of anxiety and depression. It too needs to have more focus directed to it and therefore assist people to understand what is a very real illness.

Would it not be nice to see Cricket Australia get behind this charity in the future, as it appears to be one that has a very strong link to cricket. If it proves half as successful as the “Pink Test” has been the “Blue Test” could make massive inroads in the acceptance and understanding of depression. Surely it has to be worth discussing.

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