Stressed Trott pulls out of England’s Ashes tour

AP

Jonathan Trott left the Ashes tour with a stress-related illness after England’s 381-run loss in the first test on Sunday, a day after he was targeted for criticism by Australian batsman David Warner.

The 32-year-old Trott had batting failures in both innings, out for 10 and 9 to Mitchell Johnson after being exposed as being vulnerable to short-pitch bowling.

England collapsed in both innings in Brisbane, dismissed for 136 and 179 in a comprehensive defeat to start the five-test series.

Warner used a news conference on Saturday evening to say the way Trott handled the fiery bowling was “weak” and that the England batsmen had “scared eyes.” The British press also criticized the mode of Trott’s dismissal in post-match reports.

The England Cricket Board on Monday issued a statement saying Trott would take a break from cricket “for the foreseeable future.”

“I don’t feel it’s right that I’m playing knowing that I’m not 100 percent and I cannot currently operate at the level I have done in the past,” Trott said in a statement. “My priority now is to take a break from cricket so that I can focus on my recovery.”

Trott, who was born and educated in South Africa, has been part of England’s three consecutive Ashes series wins. He made a century in his test debut against Australia in 2009, and scored two unbeaten centuries and a half century during England’s Ashes triumph in 2010-11 — its first in Australia in 24 years.

He averages 46 per innings in his 49 tests, including nine centuries, but didn’t reach triple figures in the recent northern summer series against New Zealand and Australia and has been struggling for form.

England Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris described Trott as “an incredibly talented cricketer who has proven himself time and again for England.”

“The cricket side of things is unimportant now, all that matters is that Jonathan is given the time, support and space he needs to recover,” Morris said. “We fully support his decision to leave the tour and the ECB will provide all the assistance we can to help Jonathan and his family through this period.”

Trott is the third England player to quit a tour in the last decade due to stress-related issues. Marcus Trescothick quit tours to India and Australia in 2006 and Michael Yardy withdrew from the World Cup in 2011.

England coach Andy Flower told the British media that Trott’s decision was not a result of Warner’s remarks, but condemned the way the Australian batsman commented about a rival player in a news conference.

“Jonathan has been struggling with this condition for quite a while and has managed it very successfully but we’ve been on tour for about a month,” he was quoted as saying. “He’s had his ups and downs through that month and it is not directly related to that.

“I would also say that I think players commenting about fellow professionals in the media is disrespectful. I think on this occasion he (Warner) has got that horribly wrong.”

Trescothick played 76 test matches before he suddenly left a tour in India in 2006 due to a stress-related problems. He was included in the touring squad for the 2006-07 Ashes series but left Australia before the tests started with a recurrence of the illness. He never played another test and retired officially from international cricket in 2008.

Trescothick commented via Twitter, posting: “Sad news, hope Trotty is OK.”

“Let’s not start pointing (too) many fingers at the reason why and how, let’s just think about the man,” he added.