Ex-cricket star Slater pleads not guilty to charges
Former Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater has pleaded not guilty to assaulting and obstructing Queensland police, describing the incident as a misunderstanding.
Slater, 53, spoke to media after appearing in Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
He has been charged with one count of assaulting police and two counts of obstructing police.
Police allege officers were called just before midnight to an address north of Brisbane on March 31 in relation to an alleged domestic violence-related matter and medical incident.
The former opener and TV commentator obstructed officers at the Noosa Heads address, assaulting one who suffered a cut to his hand, police say.
Slater said the incident occurred during a "mental health dip".
"It was an unfortunate situation that evening where it was a welfare check on my mental health," he said outside court.
"I had a good friend reach out. The police were doing their job and they came to the door, and I was really startled and sort of tried to refuse them entrance to my apartment and that's basically the amount of it.
"The ambulance then came. I spent the night in the hospital under observation and then everything's sort of back on track."
Slater said he would keep working hard on his mental health, telling reporters it had been an ongoing battle for a number of years.
"It's been highly embarrassing I suppose on a personal level to undergo everything that's happened ... I've lost a lot in the last couple of years," he said.
"I've made some mistakes and I think there have been some mistruths as well.
"But we fight hard to get on top of things and life's not easy but I've got three beautiful kids where my focus is and looking for a job."
Asked if there was a need to talk more about former sports stars and their mental health, Slater said: "I still think there's a lot of gaps that can be filled but certainly retired sportspeople, there's a list of struggles in retirement.
"Not that my retirement was bad. I was working in TV for 20 years and then you know it sort of all snowballed."
After making his debut during the 1993 Ashes tour, Slater played 74 Tests for Australia, amassing 5312 runs at an average of 42.83 with 14 tons.
He also played 42 one-day internationals.
Slater retired from cricket in 2004, embarking on a successful TV commentary career.
His matter is set for mention at Noosa Magistrates Court on July 4 after he pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
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