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Bess says running helped him with virus anxiety issues

Filed on May 19, 2020
Bess revived his Test career with a five-wicket haul against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in January. - AFP file

The England off-spinner spoke about how it affected him and how the 22-year-old coped with it

England off-spinner Dom Bess believes maintaining physical fitness has helped him cope with anxiety issues caused by the coronavirus lockdown.

"Getting out running and fit always gets me in a positive mindset and having a bit of structure," said Bess, in a Zoom conversation with former Somerset team-mate Marcus Trescothick, whose own mental health issues cut short his England career.

"I know how it affects me," added Bess, who first spoke about his mental health problems in an interview last month.

"I always call them triggers. Even little things like the weather. 

"There's times where it's been really bad and I really struggle to get out of bed and the motivation is not there any more.

"I struggle with that quite a lot and getting going is always the hardest part for me, certainly in this lockdown.

"There's been little triggers but I'm fortunate enough to have two people in my household, my girlfriend and my housemate, to make sure that I'm all right and keep going with it."

The 22-year-old Bess revived his Test career with a five-wicket haul against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in January.

He attributed some of his recent success to working with a psychologist who had no previous knowledge of cricket in a scheme funded by the Professional Cricketers' Association trust.

"Getting someone away from the game was so helpful for me, because it was as much outside life for me as it was about cricket," explained Bess. 

Meanwhile Trust director Trescothick, who called time on his 26-year professional career at the end of the 2019 season, said he'd been "pleasantly surprised" at how he had coped without cricket.

The former England opener worked with Joe Root's squad during last year's Ashes and the Twenty20 leg of the South Africa tour in February.

"I was worried for a long time about what it would feel like and how it would go," said Trescothick.

"But I've been pleasantly surprised, actually. It's been quite nice to have that release of pressure, to not have the burden or scrutiny of everything on top of you, the ups and downs.

"I would say it's made me a lot more level-headed although I still manage the mental health stuff around it. I'm more situational with my mental health now than what I was when I was playing."

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