FORMER Somerset cricket star Arul Suppiah has courageously opened up about his battle with anorexia

Fans' favourite Suppiah, 38, who struggled with mental health battles throughout his 276-match career, revealed the torment he suffered with the eating disorder post career ahead of his county's appearance in the T20 Vitality Blast Finals Day on Saturday (July 16).

He took up teaching at Queen's College, Taunton, after being forced to retire from the game at 29 due to a chronic knee injury.

Four years later, what was intended as a health kick, became an obsession, which led to an eating disorder and changes in his behaviour.

Even in his most successful years that yielded 7,350 runs and 95 wickets, Suppiah’s demons surfaced.

He reached out for support to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust through a confidential helpline and was diagnosed with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety, conditions he began to manage through his late twenties and into his thirties.

The turning point for Malaysian-born Suppiah came five years after he retired from playing, when he nearly fainted following a lesson at Queen's.

After this he began to receive help from the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, the charity that supports members of the Professional Cricketers’ Association and their families when they are in need.

"In 2017, I decided to be a vegetarian and be healthy," said Suppiah, who played alongside Professional Cricketers’ Trust director Marcus Trescothick at Somerset.

“But I could sense that something was talking to me, and I call this ‘The Voice,’ and The Voice is the eating disorder.

“People were starting to comment that I was starting to lose weight and I just nodded, and I think what it did was just fuel the ego, fuel The Voice, and just strengthen it.

“I did not realise anything of that and during spring 2017 – during the Easter term – I think that’s just when it started to get a bit more intense.”

His disorder became so bad it was having an adverse effect on his ability to live and caused him to spend periods of time isolated and avoiding social situations, with his mental health worsening.

“I couldn’t socialise,” he said. “I didn’t know how to go out with my friends to have dinner – my answer would be ‘no, I cannot come for dinner’ because I had to do my exercise or because I could only eat types of certain safe food."

He added: “Things started to change in terms of my behaviour, my mood – I was very snappy, I was throwing tantrums and I was spending time a lot of time by myself.

“I was completely possessed by The Voice.”

After his dizzy spell in 2018, Suppiah decided to visit his GP, who told him he was drastically underweight.

He was put in touch with the Trust, who are partnering with the ECB and Sky Sports ahead of Finals Day of the Vitality Blast to highlight the work of the players’ charity and raise funds.

Suppiah added: "The Trust rang me and said, ‘Do I need help?’ and I’ve gone ‘Yes, I do, I really do need help,’ and that’s when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

“I never, never in a million years thought that would have happened to me.

“In terms of how the Trust helped me, it was simply amazing, and I was very lucky to see a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a dietician all together.

“That’s when I managed to turn a corner and managed to show progress, and progress then was to put on weight.

“In terms of recovery I am still very much on the journey and I think the Trust has given me a second chance, another opportunity to life and I sincerely thank the Trust for that.”

To find out more about the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, visit and you can donate HERE.