Harry Brook blocks himself from ‘negativity’ by withdrawing from social media
Harry Brook has shielded himself from the recent negativity around England from outside the camp by withdrawing from social media, believing his mental health has been boosted as a result.
Up until the last couple of months, Brook’s international career had been an unqualified success, with starring roles in the ‘Bazball’ revolution after gatecrashing the Test middle order while he was an ever-present in England’s T20 World Cup triumph last year.
By his own admission, Brook has found the one-day format a tougher nut to crack and averaged 28.16 in England’s grim World Cup campaign, but there are indications he is starting to find his feet after a promising innings of 71 in Antigua on Sunday.
England’s defeat in the first ODI against West Indies has deepened the sense of gloom but Brook has insulated himself from criticism by leaving his X and Instagram accounts to his handlers.
“I’ve been off social media for a while now, anything I stumble across, I delete it from the phone,” he said.
“I haven’t really seen any negativity, I think that’s helped my game, helped my mental health and everything to be off social media and seeing all the negativity that brings.”
Earlier this year, Brook followed up three low scores at the Indian Premier League with a century and took aim at his detractors, saying with an impish grin in an interview: “I’m glad I could shut them up.”
He was relentlessly targeted for abuse after struggling for the rest of the event and the Yorkshireman admitted he chose his words poorly.
“I was an idiot and I said that stupid thing in an interview which I regret a little bit,” he said.
“In India, you end up sitting in your hotel room, not much to do so I find myself just scrolling Instagram or Twitter or whatever and come across stuff you just don’t want to see.
“I thought it was the right idea to get off it. I’ve obviously still got Instagram and Twitter but thankfully I’ve got someone running it for me.”
Having been discarded by Sunrisers Hyderabad, Brook has entered into next year’s IPL auction, extending a hectic winter programme with England.
The 24-year-old revealed he was tired following the World Cup but had no inclination to skip the white-ball tour of the Caribbean, after which England play a five-Test series in India, starting next month.
“I probably felt like I needed a little bit of a break after the World Cup, to be honest,” Brook said.
“It wears you out. Obviously we didn’t have a great competition as well, which didn’t help.
“To have a little two-week break at home was refreshing. But I’m happy to be out here, to be honest. I feel like I’ve got some things I need to work on especially in one-day cricket.”
Brook, who had no hesitation in “straight away” signing a three-year England central contract in October, is one of the country’s few three-format players and has no plans for slowing down.
For now, though, he is keen to finesse his batting in ODIs. While he has now played 13 times for England in the format – all in 2023 – his 50-over opportunities for Yorkshire in recent years have been limited as the domestic competition clashes, controversially, with The Hundred.
“I want to play as much as I can for England,” Brook added.
“Until the summer I hadn’t played anything (in ODIs). I was just trying to figure out, find my feet in the format really and try to find a tempo with the way I wanted to bat.
“England have been renowned for being an aggressive side but there’s always so much time. The other day was a perfect example of that.
“It was about nine overs from the end that I got out and I felt like I was sat up on the balcony watching for about three hours. There’s so much more time than you actually think.”
England are unlikely to ring the changes on Wednesday despite a four-wicket defeat at the weekend for a match, on a fresh pitch, they must win to send the series to a decider in Barbados on Saturday.
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