South Africa‘s former skipper AB de Villiers has come up with a big revelation. The veteran Proteas cricketer admitted facing anxiety issues and taking sleeping pills ahead of big pressure games. The disclosure from De Villiers came after Australia’s star batter Steve Smith talked about him struggling to sleep ahead of an important match, and footballer Dele Alli opened up about sleeping pills becoming a problem for him.
It is worth mentioning that De Villiers represented South Africa in 228 ODIs and 114 Tests, amassing 8765 and 9577 runs, respectively. Meanwhile, he registered 1672 runs for his country in 78 T20I matches. The 39-year-old cricketer’s international career featured many record-breaking knocks that are etched into the game’s history book.
Apart from international cricket, De Villiers is also one of the very few to slam more than 5000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Proteas cricketer represented the Royal Challenger Bangalore (RCB) franchise for almost a decade in the cash-rich tournament before calling his time on all forms of cricket in 2021.
Discussing Smith and Alli’s cases on his official Youtube Channel, De Villiers recently confessed that he went through excessive mental pressure during his playing days and even admitted to consuming sleeping pills. However, the former RCB star advised other athletes not to opt for sleeping tablets as routine.
“I can relate to this because I had similar issues before big games, really struggling to sleep. Sleeping tablets helped me fall asleep and it can become a problem after a while because the tablet only doesn’t make you sleep, it makes you feel really relaxed, takes a bit of anxiety away and you just feel in a very good space,” said de Villiers.
Notably, De Villiers had also admitted to not getting enough sleep before the 2015 world cup match against West Indies earlier in an interview. He recalled the same incident in his recent video and elaborated on how he just slept for 2-3 hours before that match and had to get an injection from the doctor.
“I very clearly remember the game in the 2015 World Cup. It was the night before we played the West Indies. I actually ended up scoring a hundred which was very surprising – one of the best knocks of my life. But that night, I literally slept for 2-3 hours maximum. At 3 am, I got the doctor over to my room, got an injection and I just couldn’t sleep. I had stomach cramps and it was purely based around anxiety, stress and pressure, thinking about the next big game, which was a must-win for us,” recalled former Proteas skipper.
“It was just those lonely times in the hotel room, thinking, ‘I have to do this again tomorrow, I have to do it again’. It just never stopped, ultimately creating a bit of anxiety within myself. I also used sleeping tablets from time to time, especially before big games. Sleeping tablets can be so addictive that sometimes you start taking them when you don’t really need them. That’s where it becomes the problem. Luckily for me, I stabilized the last 5-7 years, got a little bit better, but it’s very dangerous,” he added.
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