Image courtesy of: The Independent
“I’m no expert on his condition (stress-related illness) but I would have thought that he was absolutely at his wits end”
Former England captain David Lloyd has admitted that he simply doesn’t “see a way back for” batsman Jonathan Trott after he pulled out of the Ashes series with a stress-related illness.
Lloyd, who compared Trott’s situation to that of Marcus Trescothick, believes it is unlikely the South African-born batsman will make his international return.
“It’s a Marcus Trescothick situation and I just don’t see a way back for him other than playing in county cricket, especially given that it’s emerged he’s been managing this condition for a number of years and bearing in mind it’s come to a head when he’s in his 30s,” Lloyd told Sky Sports. “England go to South Africa soon, they’ve got the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as well – I don’t know whether travel is an issue – but I just don’t see how it can be managed successfully which is a great shame. It’s a blow to him because you just don’t want to leave an Ashes series. Forget that it’s a blow to the team, it’s a massive blow to the individual. You just don’t leave an Ashes series – you get through it somehow.”
Lloyd also stated that Trescothick, Tim Ambrose and Michael Yardy all experienced the same thing and failed to represent England again.
“It’s taken just one game for him to go home so I don’t think it’s a question of he’ll get better and come back in because all the pointers previously suggest you don’t,” Lloyd said. “You just have to read Trescothick’s recent quotes. I’m no expert on his condition (stress-related illness) but I would have thought that he was absolutely at his wits end, as Trescothick was.”
Lloyd believes the pressure of Test cricket and the amount of time a cricketer spends away from his family are all contributing factors to Trott’s illness.
“I stress again that I’m no expert but it’s intriguing that the game of cricket is a long drawn out affair,” he said. “The playing day is six-and-a-half hours, continuously for five days in a Test match – that’s why it’s called a Test. You spend a lot of time away from home, from family. You have to learn to deal with success and failure which I think is the crux of it.
“Some can do it very easily, the majority do it very easily worldwide but it’s apparent that this condition affects a number of people. Through my involvement with the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) you only have to look at the ‘lesser players’ who have suffered dramatically from this condition and have left the game. Then there’s the tragic suicides that have happened in cricket. It seems the prevalent sport.
“One or two players in my time needed carefully management, and what I mean by that is an arm around a shoulder. But others, like Michael Atherton, could put on such a steely face on that you never knew what was going on!”
The 66-year-old also lauded Australia opening batsman David Warner for apologising for the comments he made about Trott, but added that too many Australian sportsmen are getting caught up in major controversies.
“Warner has had a time of reflection and acknowledged that he was out of order and I think that was good of him to do that,” Lloyd said. “That said, there is a pattern in very recent times. David Warner fighting, in a nightclub, (Rugby League star) Billy Slater fighting, in a nightclub. There are two fellas in the AFL, one has broke the other’s jaw, in a Los Angeles nightclub. These are all elite sportsmen and it horrifies me that they put themselves in that position and then get into that kind of fracas.”