Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 19th 2014 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, April 19, 2014
Jonathan Trott is to take an extended break from
cricket having suffered a recurrence of the problems
that forced him to leave the Ashes tour after the
first Test in Brisbane.
Trott left Australia in November with what was
described at the time as a "stress related illness" by
the ECB. While he hoped that a period of rest ahead
of the English domestic season would prove the cure
for what he believed to be "burnout," he experienced
a recurrence of the symptoms of anxiety and mental
exhaustion that plagued him in Australia while rep-
resenting Warwickshire in recent days. The news
was confirmed by a joint ECB-Warwickshire statement
on Friday morning.
It is quite possible there will be no return, even
at county level. Certainly this decision is highly likely
to signal the end of Trott s international career. Not
only may Trott be reluctant to put himself back into
an environment that causes him such difficulties,
but it seems unlikely that the ECB would want to
burden him with such pressure or risk the possibility
of a recurrence on the eve of a big game.
It may also raise questions about the ECB s handling
of the affair. While Trott was full of praise for the
compassion shown by Andy Flower, his team-mates
and Hugh Morris at the time of his breakdown in
Australia, the ECB s support has been less obvious
since Trott returned to England.
It is understood that there has been little com-
munication with the ECB and, in particular, the Eng-
land team management and instead of the support
that was promised, Trott has at times cut an isolated
and forgotten figure.
Trott has also been stung by criticism in some
sections of the media. While dealing with media
scrutiny comes with the territory for professional
sportsmen, for a man recovering from a stress related
illness to have his motives doubted and explanations
questioned has not helped the process.
Whether the strong criticism of former England
captain, Michael Vaughan, proved particularly dam-
aging to Trott s fragile recovery and was a contributory
factor in this decision is hard to say, but the level of
scrutiny---inevitable and natural though it is---has
proved unbearable. Photographers have been found
lurking in his garden and outside his daughter s school
since his return from Australia.
The combination of a perceived lack of support
and some harsh criticism resulted in Trott feeling
on trial every time he has taken the field. He has
now concluded he no longer wants to put himself,
or his family, through the pain. The relaxed and happy
Trott, freed of the concerns of cricket, bears little
resemblance to the careworn Trott seen in Australia
or around Edgbaston in recent days.
While Trott batted particularly well in the first
innings of the match---he top-scored with 37 as War-
wickshire were bowled out for 87---he was less impres-
sive as the game wore on. He was struck twice by
short balls from Chris Jordan in the second innings
and then fell to a pull stroke off the same bowler.
It was an innings that did nothing to refute those
who suggest his problems have been born largely out
of a struggle to play the short ball.
However, the key moment came when he dropped
a catch. Standing at slip to the offspin of Jeetan Patel,
Trott put down Ed Joyce on 91. Joyce went on to
score an unbeaten 151 and win the game for his team.
Trott appears to have blamed himself and his inability
to concentrate as he once could. Three other players
dropped catches in the same innings, but Trott has
always been harder on himself than most. At one
time, that self-demanding character drove him to
levels of achievement of which most cricketers can
only dream. For now, it appears to have become bur-
densome and destructive.
Trott stands down
At 32, there is still time for a comeback. But if this
is the final chapter, Trott will leave the game with
a record of which to take pride. He scored a century
in the first of his 49 Tests, against an attack that
included Mitchell Johnson, was a part of three Ashes-
winning sides and the Test and ODI teams that
reached No 1 in the world rankings. (ESPNcricinfo)
career at the
start of the
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