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Sophie Devine (2)

'It's okay to be able to step away' – Sophie Devine on her two-month break

New Zealand Women news

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White Ferns all-rounder Sophie Devine is set to return as captain for New Zealand's upcoming tour of England after a much-needed break from international cricket.

Devine had withdrawn from a couple of T20Is and the ODI series against Australia in the month of April.

"For me, I just knew I couldn't do a job. It's the same thing as if I broke a leg or pulled my hamstring - if I can't complete the job to 100% then I need to take a serious look if I'm worthy of being in that team," she said. "And at that stage, I couldn't live up to my role, what I expect of myself, as well as what my teammates expect of me."

"I pretty much hid in my own little bubble for probably two months, and really spent that time going back to simple things. Spending time away from cricket, first and foremost, and spending it with loved ones, which was really important. I needed to get back to what makes me feel good as a person and having that time away...I really did switch off from everyone and everything, which I needed to do at that time."

"We need to create that space for people to be able to talk about mental health." – Devine

The all-rounder laid emphasis on the creation of a safe environment to talk freely about mental health amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic that has also caused bubble fatigue.

"I can share my stories with others to know it's okay to be able to step away. It's not just athletes, it's everyone. We need to create that space for people to be able to talk about mental health.

"I think we know that we're professional athletes, and we're going to get a high level of scrutiny, and I don't want to shy away from that. It's what you expect as a professional athlete. It's just remembering, behind the keyboard, behind the helmet and the bat and the pads, there's a person there too," added Devine.

New Zealand take on England in a three-match T20I series, which begins from 1 September.

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