Australia v Pakistan: Tim Paine supports Will Pucovski taking break for mental health

Tim Paine looks pensive
Tim Paine helped Australia retain the Ashes in England this summer

Australia captain Tim Paine says the mental wellbeing of players takes priority over cricket after batsman Will Pucovski became the third of their players to take a break from the game.

Pucovski, 20, asked not to be considered for Test selection against Pakistan to focus on his mental health.

"We want Will to be a happy young man," said Paine. "The first priority for us is his mental wellbeing."

Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson are also taking a break from cricket.

"Will making the right decision to step away and take care of himself and get himself healthy and in the right state of mind is going to be important because we think he's someone who's got a huge Test future," added Test captain Paine.

"He's had a lot of pressure put on him from outside sources, and hopefully he's in a position in the next few years to fulfil the potential that he's got."

Earlier this month, all-rounder Maxwell, 31, took an indefinite break from cricket because of mental health issues and batsman Maddinson withdrew from the Australia A game against Pakistan.

Maxwell's decision has been praised by many, with his team-mate Chris Lynn saying "25 million Australians" are behind the short-format specialist.

And speaking before his side's Test match against Bangladesh, India captain Virat Kohli said: "I think what Glenn has done is remarkable.

"It has set the right example for cricketers around the world that if you're not in the best frame of mind you try, and try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage.

"And you need time away from the game. Not to say you give up, but just to gain more clarity."

Australia have named a 14-man squad for their two-Test series against Pakistan, which begins at the Gabba on 21 November.

Cameron Bancroft, who was dropped after two Tests during the Ashes series in England, has been recalled alongside Joe Burns.

Pakistan's squad includes three teenagers, the youngest being 16-year-old paceman Naseem Shah.

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.

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