Aryaman Birla, the son of Kumar Mangalam Birla who is the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, has announced an indefinite break from cricket in order to deal with mental health issues. This comes in the wake of Glenn Maxwell taking a break in order to deal with mental health issues and this move was hailed as gutsy and inspiring from many cricketers, including current India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli. Taking to social media, Aryaman Birla announced, "It's been a journey of hard work, perseverance, dedication and immense courage to get to this point in my cricket career. However, I've been coping with severe anxiety related to the sport for a while now. And so, I've decided to take an undefined sabbatical from cricket. This lovely sport is an integral part of my life and I hope to be back on the field when the time is right. We all have our own journeys and I want to take this time to understand myself better, open my mind to new and varied perspectives and seek purpose in my findings."
Aryaman has played age-group cricket for Madhya Pradesh before making it to the senior Ranji side in 2017. He has played nine first-class games and four List A matches. Last year, he topped the CK Nayudu (Under-23) Trophy run charts with 602 at an average of 75.25, scoring three hundreds in nine innings. The opening batsman was also a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals for two seasons from 2018-2020. However, he didn't get any game time and was released ahead of this year's auction, which took place on Wednesday.
When Maxwell announced that he was stepping away from the game of cricket in order to address his mental health issues, he threw light upon a malaise that was often neglected in the sport. Many people hailed his decision, including Kohli who himself said that he was mentally at a low point after his failure in the 2014 England tour. Maxwell's move allowed other cricketers to take a break from cricket due to mental health issues, including several women cricketers in the Big Bash League.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Maxwell opened up on his mental state and highlighted the reason why he had to step away from the game. "I was pretty cooked when I decided to take the time off. Big reason why I did take that time away is I was pretty mentally and physically ruined. I think it was eight months on the road, living out of a suitcase and that probably had been going on for four or five years, just constantly on the road and it all just caught up with me at that time. I really want to thank Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and the Stars for giving me that space and allowing me to have that time away from the game and get myself right," Maxwell said.