England bowler Kate Cross has admitted persistent setbacks in an ongoing battle against a tropical disease have taken a toll on her mental health.
Cross has taken 106 wickets in 73 internationals and is hoping to feature in this summer’s multi-format Ashes series, starting with the only Test on June 22 at Trent Bridge.
But the 31-year-old explained on her BBC No Balls Podcast that she is on her ninth round of antibiotics to treat a parasite that has not only affected her physically but left her feeling despondent.
“I thought I was over this illness and it’s come back with a vengeance,” she said. “It’s my seventh relapse now. The lows have been drastically low.
“When you are playing sport and you are pulled out because of injury, you understand, but because it’s illness based, and every day is different, I’m struggling with that.
“It’s the most resistant thing the doctors have come across. I have found it difficult because I thought the end was in sight nine times now.”
It is believed Cross got the illness during a pre-season trip with Thunder, her domestic side based in the north-west, in Dubai before heading off to Mumbai shortly afterwards.
While she has played three matches in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy competition, Cross was unable to attend England’s pre-Ashes team bonding trip to the Lake District in the last week.
“It makes you realise we’re so close to the summer now and there’s an Ashes not far away and I am very not much ready for it and still really ill,” added Cross, speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week.
“It’s been relentless. You see small stepping stones with injuries but it’s not been like that with this.
“I haven’t left my flat for three days, other than to go to Liverpool to a tropical disease specialist lab.”