Sophie Devine speaks about mental health-related break from cricket — 'It was bubbling away for a while'

Sophie Devine has gone into further details about her two-month break from cricket, saying in hindsight she probably should have addressed her mental health sooner instead of letting it "bubble away".

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The White Ferns captain said it was a tough decision to step away from the game, but she knows she made the right call. Source: 1 NEWS

Devine made headlines in April when she was sent home for rest and missed the White Ferns' ODI series against Australia in a decision that was at the time described as addressing the captain's needs.

After two months off, Devine has rejoined the team gathered at Lincoln University and told media today she's "good" now.

"It got to a point where I couldn't do not just my teammates justice but myself, and what the team needs from me," Devine said.

"For me to step away was the right thing to do — it was a very hard decision but I've had some fantastic support."

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The captain said she spent the two months in her own bubble getting back to "the simple things". Source: 1 NEWS

Devine said there wasn't any single moment that made her realise she needed to step away from cricket but rather a series of events.

"Looking back now, it had probably been bubbling away for a while," Devine said.

"I knew I couldn't do a job. It's the same thing as if I broke my leg or pulled my hamstring. If I can't do it at 100 per cent then I need to take a serious look at if I was worthy of being in the team and at that stage. I couldn't live up to my role and what I expect of myself."

Read more:
White Ferns captain Sophie Devine sent home to rest, will miss Australia ODI series

Devine said she spent the two months in a small bubble with friends and family not thinking about cricket.

During that time, though, other top Kiwi female athletes such as Black Fern Kendra Cocksedge and Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio both revealed their own mental health issues and decisions to take breaks from their respective sports to address them, too.

Recently, the topic became a global talking point with tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health as well.

Devine said while she hasn't spoken to either New Zealander about their journeys, she can relate to them regardless.

"We know 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 because you expect it as a professional athlete.

"It seems to be quite topical at the moment but the really important thing for me is to remember that we are humans first and athletes second.

"Everyone's journey is so different and so individual... but I think it is so good to see that they feel comfortable enough to speak in that space."

Devine was one of 17 White Ferns recently announced in the contracted players list for the upcoming season, which includes both a T20 series and ODI series against England as well as the Women's World Cup.

The squad came together at Lincoln University to begin their winter training programme.