Looking back at the World Cup, Maxwell recalled that both him and Shaun Marsh had been struck on the arms during a net session before the match against South Africa at Manchester. However, while Marsh was subsequently ruled out of the competition, Maxwell was declared fit to play, although he was hoping he wouldn’t.
"I knew he [Marsh] was in trouble when he came in, and immediately I felt bad for him. I just thought I hope he's OK, and if anything, I wish we could swap our news [Marsh's arm was broken]. We went to the hospital together and we were both sitting there, I think both hoping for opposite news. When I got hit, I was angry and a part of me was hoping [my arm] was broken,” Maxwell said in the Ordineroli Speaking podcast.
"I was like 'this is it, I just need a break'... I was thinking about things I could do on the way back to snap it. I had anger at other people and it didn't make sense, but I was angry at myself for not being able to produce at all this World Cup. I thought it would've been an easy escape because I felt like I was going to get dropped at some stage and I thought maybe this is the way," the 31-year-old added.
Clearly, Maxwell wasn’t in the best frame of mind during the World Cup, and it reflected in his performances. The all-rounder managed only 177 runs from 10 games at an average of 22.12. However, what was most shocking was Maxwell’s decision to take a break from cricket after he had bashed 62 from 28 balls in a T20I against Sri Lanka in October. He even effected a brilliant run-out from the deep. Everything seemed perfect with Maxwell. But, deep inside something was not right with the Aussie cricketer.
"I batted so well, I got 60-odd off less than 30 and barely missed the middle...but didn't really enjoy any of it. You're taking down an international attack and just not enjoying any bit of it,” Maxwell added.
The batsman, who has had an inconsistent career although he has always been highly rated, revealed that he hadn’t even spoken to captain Aaron Finch before announcing his decision. "I was about to announce it to the group, they had no idea what was going on, I didn't even tell [Aaron] Finchy. I didn't want them to be distracted by what was going on with me. I went over to him [Finch] and said 'I'm done, I'm going to have a bit of time off', and he said he noticed something was up. Once I told him, he was like, 'brave decision, well done.'
"Once everyone left, I broke down into tears. That was the first time I showed any emotion since the World Cup. Those next two or three days were probably the worst I'd had in the next six months. As much as support was great, it was also so confronting. I wanted to go further into my little hole and not come out. I felt like I was letting a lot of people down, I felt like I was taking an easy-out, I didn't know what I was doing," he recalled.
On his return to competitive cricket, Maxwell captained Melbourne Stars to the final of the Big Bash League. With the bat, he struck 398 runs from 17 games at a strike-rate of 148.51. He was to be picked for the limited-overs tour of South Africa but an elbow injury ruled him out.
--By A Cricket Correspondent