DUBAI: Mental wellbeing as much as physical health is emerging as a key challenge for modern-day cricketers — with relentless schedules, intense public scrutiny and the fear of failure weighing heavily. The issue has been thrust into the spotlight in Australia, where three top players recently stepped aside for mental health reasons, with administrators scrambling to get on top of the problem.

David Warner has bounced back from a poor Ashes campaign with a red-hot run of form in the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka, which he attributes to “maintaining the rage”. The explosive opener has scored 217 in three innings without losing his wicket, winning man-of-the-match each time to steer Australia to a 3-0 series victory.

LAHORE: While Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof targets another clean sweep in the two-match One-day International series, her Bangladesh counterpart Rumana Ahmad aims to go in the series after ignoring the 0-3 whitewash the tourists suffered in the recently-concluded T20 series.

Barcelona were so keen to bring Neymar back from Paris St Germain that the players were ready to accept delays to salary payments in order for the club to afford the Brazilian, defender Gerard Pique has revealed. Barca spent the bulk of the last transfer window trying to lure Neymar back from PSG, two years after he left the Catalans for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros ($248 million).

England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan will take a call on his future after next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in England, the 33-year-old said. Morgan led England to their maiden ODI World Cup victory in July on home soil but has battled back injuries in recent years.

Anfield debutant Curtis Jones scored the winning spot-kick as Liverpool beat Arsenal on penalties after an astonishing 5-5 draw to reach the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. The 18-year-old substitute kept his cool in front of the Kop to send Liverpool through after the hosts had trailed 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before a stoppage-time equalizer by Divock Origi.

Australian batting superstar Glenn Maxwell will take a “short” break from cricket to deal with mental health issues, Cricket Australia said Thursday. One of the world’s best short-format batsman, Maxwell leaves Australia’s T20 squad during a series against touring Sri Lanka, after smashing a blistering 62 off 28 balls in the opening match.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has come up with yet another innovation as they have decided to introduce traditional street cricket style in the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The first pick in the draft for PSL season five will be decided on ‘Pugam’ [Show of Hands]. The draft for season five will be held in mid-November. The exact date will be disclosed soon.

Hundreds of people staged a demonstration in a Bangladesh town Wednesday against a two-year ban on cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan for not declaring attempts to bribe him. The ban on the 32-year-old superstar was announced on Tuesday by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which suspended one year of the punishment after Shakib “accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code”.

After a successful tour to Pakistan for ODI and T20 series, Sri Lanka Cricket has been convinced to send their full-strength team to Pakistan again for a Test series in December. The CEO of Sri Lankan board Ashley de Silva said that players who backed out to tour Pakistan for the recent limited-overs tour, have now shown interest in touring, except one or two.