Black Cap Jimmy Neesham rediscovers love for cricket, opens up about mental struggle

Black Caps allrounder Jimmy Neesham came close to walking away from the game he loved 18 months ago after struggling to find form.

The 28-year-old was dropped from the national team last summer and was struggling with form for the Otago Volts.

In January last year Neesham calledNew Zealand Cricket Players' Association chief executive Heath Mills to call it quits, with Mills suggesting that the allrounder take a little break from the game.

Neesham moved up to Wellington to ply his trade for the Firebirds in September last year, where he admitted he began to enjoy the game and not long after was recalled back into the Black Caps.

After missing selection for the 2015 World Cup squad, Neesham will be heading to this year's World Cup in England after being named in the Black Caps squad yesterday.

He said it was a hard pill to swallow missing out on the 2015 World Cup squad.

"I think it was almost bitter sweet, given the time. You have a lot of your best mates in the team, obviously you want them to do well but at the same time you wish you were out there," said Neesham.

"I actually probably found it a little bit easier after I got injured that year, it came to a point that there was no way I was going to get called up anyway.

"It took the best part of three and a half years to get back [to cricket] properly again. I think in hindsight I didn't rehab the back injury as well as I could've."

Neesham said mentally he put too much pressure on himself which hindered his performance on the cricket field.

"I think I just put way too much pressure on myself.

"I think I probably rushed back because I was so desperate to be playing again and desperate to put my name up in lights again.

"Really it took the best part of a year and a half to physically get right again. Obviously after that break last season is where it came together mentally.

"And obviously once you get those two things working together you start making some progress."

Neesham revealed today that he saw a psychologist to deal with his personal issues and help his game.

"I'm not much of a communicator at the best of times, I don't think many New Zealand blokes are and just being able to talk through few of the struggles I was having off the field," Neesham said.

"It only sort of took five to six sessions to start to really see some progress and feel confident to go out on the field again."

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The allrounder came close to walking away from the game 18 months ago. Source: 1 NEWS

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