Don Hodges, courtesy of SPORT, 25 November 2013, where the title is “Ashes 2013-2014: Sooner or later, arms and ribs will be broken”
The news that Jonathan Trott is returning to England as a result of a “long-stand stress-related” condition puts England’s defeat in the First Test at Brisbane into perspective. Cricket is not, as Alastair Cook said at yesterday’s post-match press conference, “a war”. It’s a game. A highly professional, intensely contested, increasingly well remunerated game. But a game nonetheless.
It was very clear to everyone watching Trott’s nine-ball innings on Saturday that something was not right with the England number three. Normally so unflappable at the crease, he was unable to cope with the succession of short pitched deliveries fired down at him by Mitchell Johnson. We all thought it was an issue of technique. Now we know better. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn with Marcus Trescothick, the former England opener who was forced to return prematurely from their tour of India in 2006, with his own stress-related issues. But mental illness is by definition a personal condition, and no one but Trott himself is in a position to fully understand his reasons for leaving the tour. The best any outside observer can do is wish him well and leave him in peace. Continue reading