Jonathan Trott has revealed he is finally ready to make his return to cricket.
The South African born batsman left England’s dismal tour of Australia after just one Test after struggling with a “stress-related illness”, but made his comeback for Warwickshire’s two-day friendly against Gloucestershire on Tuesday afternoon.
Former Three Lions captain Michael Vaughan recently slammed the South African born batsman for misleading fans and selectors about the nature of the illness that cut his participation in the Ashes mercifully short.
Vaughan labelled Trott a ‘con’, after revelations this month that he had not been depressed, simply burnt out. As England skipper between 2003-2008, Vaughan spent much of his international career witnessing the gruelling impact of touring on his players’ mental health.
Spinner Michael Yardy was forced to fly home from the 2011 World Cup in Asia, while Marcus Trescothick endured a well-documented struggle with depression, leaving tours of India and Australia.
If Trott has undermined the issues of mental health surrounding the sport, it is surely unintentional. However, this episode is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry by England’s elite, and there will always be those who believe that when the going got tough Down Under, he made an easy escape.
Managing a combined score of just 19 from the two innings he did play, the 32-year-old’s performances were universally panned, leading to Aussie bad boy David Warner’s remarks about Trott’s “scared eyes”, which he later retracted.
At the time, England boss Andy Flower used his press conference to back Trott to the hilt – now, it will not be so easy. The once unmoveable number three will not simply waltz back into the side, particularly considering Ben Stokes’ impressive form.
Trott came up woefully short against Australia’s formidable fast bowling, and Vaughan will be one of many sceptics about his return. The England side he will return to, should he be selected, will almost certainly not be a harmonious one. If anything, the side he left four months ago has only got worse, amidst calls for Flower’s resignation.
Limited overs coach Ashley Giles has been linked with Flower’s post, and this may well be to Trott’s advantage, the two having worked together during Giles’ time at Warwickshire.
The Edgbaston hierarchy will no doubt ensure that Trott is eased back into the game bit by bit, but with a flurry of media attention around his return, his experienced head will be vital – should he manage to get it straight.
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