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“We all need to understand that there is a spectrum of mental illness and every case is different”
Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) chief executive Angus Porter has announced that he was infuriated with former England captain Michael Vaughan’s comments about Jonathan Trott’s stress-related illness.
Vaughan stated that he felt as if he had been “conned” when Trott was explaining his decision to leave midway through the recent Ashes series against Australia.
“I was so tired, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t bat,” Trott had told ESPNcricinfo. “It was as if my processing speed was slower. My answer has always been to work harder. I can see that was a mistake now.”
However, Vaughan retaliated in his column in The Telegraph, saying: “I feel a little bit conned we were told Jonathan Trott’s problems in Australia were a stress-related illness he had suffered for years. He was obviously not in a great place but he was struggling for cricketing reasons and not mental, and there is a massive difference. There is a danger we are starting to use stress-related illness and depression too quickly as tags for players under pressure.
“He then completely disrespected anybody who has gone through depression and mental illness by using words such as ‘nutcase’ or ‘crazy’. When I hear players talking about burn-out, I suspect it is an excuse. You never see players retiring from sport and talking about burn-out when they are playing well.
“What Trott will have to accept is that players in his own dressing room and in the opposition will look at him and think at the toughest of times he did a runner. He did not fight and got on a plane and went home. It is harsh but that is the reality.”
Porter noted that Vaughan’s comments were simply unacceptable.
“I’m disappointed in the comments by Michael Vaughan,” Porter told ESPNcricinfo. “We all need to understand that there is a spectrum of mental illness and every case is different. It’s a reminder that there is still much to understand and learn, I think across society as a whole.”