England batsman Jonathan Trott will return home from the Ashes tour of Australia due to a stress-related illness.
The England and Wales Cricket Board announced Trott was leaving the campaign and would “take no further part in the tour”.
The ECB said on its Twitter page that Trott’s return to cricket “will be determined in due course”.
“I don’t feel right that I am playing knowing that I am not 100 per cent and I cannot currently operate at the level I have come to expect,” Trott said.
“My priority now is to take a break from cricket so that I can focus on my recovery. I want to wish my teammates all the best for the remainder of the tour.”
Trott was the subject of an extraordinary attack by Australian batsman David Warner at the weekend following a series of cheap dismissals to Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
Warner said that Trott’s second innings dismissal was “pretty weak” and accused him of “backing away” from the rampaging Australian quick.
England captain Alastair Cook said that Warner’s remarks had been “disrespectful” of a fellow professional. Former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg, writing for The New Daily, said the remarks were unnecessary and called on Australian management to keep Warner away from microphones.
“You don’t say what he said about Jonathan Trott to the media. It’s not right to do that to a fellow competitor,” Hogg wrote before learning that Trott was returning home. He said, as a batsman, Trott “looks gone”.
Warner acknowledged that his remarks were designed to get into Trott’s head. “I made those comments for a reason,” he said at Brisbane airport on Monday. “Probably went a little bit too far with the comments, but it’s cricket and now it’s in the back of their mind.”
Trott averaged 89 on his last tour of Australia, but was out of sorts during the recent Ashes series and made only 10 and nine in Brisbane.
But cricinfo reported that the decision by Trott to quit the tour was understood to have nothing to do with Warner’s comments, a point made by England team director Andy Flower.
“That would be inaccurate,” Flower said when asked about any links between the remarks and Trott’s departure. “We’ve been on tour for about a month and he’s had his ups and downs through that month and it’s not directly related.
“I would also say that I also think players commenting about fellow professionals in the media is disrespectful. On this occasion he [Warner] has got that terribly wrong. I think we set different standards to that, and one of the reasons we don’t like commenting on opposition players is that we don’t know what’s going on in their dressing room and private lives.”
In all, Johnson has dismissed Trott five times in the last 40 balls he has bowled to him in all forms of the game. Trott looked so vulnerable to Johnson’s short ball during the Gabba Test that former Australian skipper Ian Chappell said England should replace him at No. 3 with Ian Bell, who was the standout success with the bat during the last Ashes series.
The managing director of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, said: “Trott is 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.
“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. Jonathan has asked for privacy while he recovers and I would urge everyone to respect that.”
Trott is not the first England cricketer to leave an Ashes series in this fashion. England opener Marcus Trescothick flew home from the 2006/07 tour in similar circumstances.
Trescothick’s wife Hayley took to Twitter to express her support:
Really feel for Jonathan Trott people don’t realise the pressure on international cricketers really hope he gets the support he needs
— Hayley Trescothick (@ElsMils) November 25, 2013