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'Depressed' Luke Pomersbach quits cricket

Friday, 6 June 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Depression and mental health issues have cut short the career of one more cricketer. Left-handed opening batsman Luke Pomersbach of Australia, only 29, chose to quit playing on Thursday to deal with his illness.

Pomersbach, who played one Twenty20 International for Australia in 2007-08, was an explosive batsman, more suited for the limited-overs format. Originally from Western Australia, he opted to play for Queensland in the Australian domestic scene for the last two seasons.

Pomersbach, in a statement, said: "I really appreciate all the help and support that I have received from Queensland Cricket over the past three years and especially over the past couple of months leading up to this difficult decision to leave professional cricket so that I can put all my efforts into getting better and making a full recovery."

The Indian cricket fans will remember Pomersbach for his alleged molestation of an American woman that led to his arrest in New Delhi during the 2012 edition of Indian Premier League during which he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The RCB franchise backed Pomersbach throughout the case and subsequently the complaint against the Australian was withdrawn. Though Pomersbach was not retained by RCB after the incident, he did reappear in the IPL, playing three matches for Kings XI Punjab in 2013.

Pomersbach played for KXIP in 2008, 2009 and 2013 while he was part of the RCB set-up in 2011 and 2012, having played only five matches in the first year and none the next. In the first edition of IPL, Pomersbach averaged an unbelievable 152.00, having stayed unbeaten on four occasions out of the five times he batted. Though he did not set the stage afire, he did score a 50-ball 79 not out against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, his team winning by a solitary run in 2008.

For those who know Pomersbach closely, he comes across a fully committed player, cordial with his team-mates and support staff and someone who wanted to excel in his game.

Pomersbach joins a list of cricketers who had to cut short their career due to depression. Last year end, England batsman Jonathan Trott left the Ashes tour Down Under after the first Test due to "stress-related issues".

Former England opener Marcus Trescothick returned home just before the first Test against India in Nagpur in 2006 due to "clinical depression". Trescothick was included for the Ashes series in Australia later that year but a recurrence of his "illness" forced him to catch a flight back home before the Tests began. However, Trescothick was not completely out of cricket, turning out for his county Somerset in English competitions, doing what he knows best – scoring runs.

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