It was almost over for Jimmy Neesham 18 months ago, who contemplated walking away from international cricket. The New Zealand Black Caps allrounder struggled with form for the Otago Volts and was dropped from the national team last summer.
At twenty-eight, Neesham was about to call it quits, informing Heath Mills of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association that he needed a break. He was not selected for the World Cup squad in 2015, but now he will be part of this year’s event in England.
Missing out in 2015 was bittersweet. It came to a point where there was no way he was going to get called up anyway. He had placed too much pressure on himself, hindering his performance. No doubt due to mental stress, he suffered injuries.
As he states it,
“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 admits that he might be rushing back in but is desperate to put his name up in lights once again. It took a year and a half to recover physically and his time off helped restore his mental balance. He has seen a psychologist to help his game and significant progress has been made in restoring his confidence.
“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.”